ASX in the red: Aus shares 0.22% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Following mixed leads from the US markets, the Australian share market opened higher this morning but is now sitting in the red, tracking 0.22 per cent down at noon.

It’s starting to pick up though after a fall before midday, now sitting upwards around 5660.

Information technology and Telecoms are down, along with Financials. QBE and Telstra dragged the markets lower this morning.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 14 points lower at 5657 points. On the futures market the SPI is 22 points lower.

Checking in with how Asian markets are tracking now, Japan’s Nikkei is 0.4 per cent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.15 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.02 per cent.

Local economic news

Australia’s consumer confidence dropped slightly after strengthening the previous week, the ANZ Roy Morgan research released yesterday showed. The index fell 114.1 from 114.8.

Company news

Yancoal (ASX:YAL) has acquired Mitsubishi’s interest in the Warkworth joint venture for US$230 million. The acquisition is expected to be complete by March next year. On completion, the Yancoal group will own approximately 84.5 per cent of the joint venture, increasing the group’s share of coal production from 64 per cent to nearly 83 per cent. Mitsubishi’s total saleable coal in 2016 was 12.3 million tonnes. Shares in Yancoal (ASX:YAL) are trading 4.55 per cent lower to 10 cents.

Global Construction Services (ASX:GCS) announced today that it has entered into a conditional agreement with Onsite Rental Group to sell its equipment hire division that operates across Western Australia. The sale amount has not been disclosed. The agreement is subject to a number of completion conditions and adjustments, which is expected to take up to three months. Shares in Global Construction Services (ASX:GCS) are trading flat at 70 cents.

Best and worst performers

The sector with the least losses is REITs, dropping 0.06 per cent to 1,309 points. Shares in IOOF Holdings have risen 1.82 per cent and trading at $4.48. Shares in Mirvac and Charter Hall Retail REIT are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Telcos, falling 1.61 per cent to 1,223. Shares in Telstra have fallen 1.84 per cent, trading at $3.46. Shares in Speedcast and Spark New Zealand are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,295 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying US78.83 cents


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