Westpac and Orica cap gains: Aus shares see flat start at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market was set for a solid start to the week but the local bourse has been flat lining after investors absorbed news that Westpac Banking Corporation’s (ASX:WBC) financial results were weaker than expected.

Orica’s (ASX:ORI) shares have also taken a hit which is putting a cap on gains after the blasting giant reported a dip in financial results, which is leading the Materials space mostly lower.

Despite that, the iron ore price has jumped 3.6 per cent which is fuelling the other half of the materials sectors with Forestcue Metals (ASX:FMG) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) gaining.

The energy space is mustering up the most gains after the US crude oil price ticked over the US$55 mark which is seeing the likes of Redflow (ASX:RFX) gain over 9.5 per cent, Santos (ASX:STO) gain 2.4 per cent and Worleyparsons (ASX:WOR) add about 1.5 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 6 points down or 0.1 per cent lower at noon at 5,954.

On the futures market the SPI is 1 point higher.

Company news

Buy now pay later company, ZipMoney (ASX:ZML) has announced that affordable furniture business, Fantastic Furniture has joined Zip’s interest free payment platform. Fantastic Furniture has over 77 stores across the country. Fantastic Furniture is part of the STEINHOFF Australian brands which includes Freedom, Bay Leather Republic, Snooze, Plush and OMF. ZipMoney (ASX:ZML) shares are trading about 2.2 per cent higher at $0.71.

Mobile phone app talent business, MSM Corporation International (ASX:MSM) which is backed by Usher, has reported a strong first month for its Megastar app. Its engagement rose 4000 per cent. Its app also saw a strong amount of auditions submitted with over 4,300 accepted entries. MSM Corporation International (ASX:MSM) shares are trading 5 per cent lower at $0.19.

The best and worst performers

The best performing sector is energy, gaining 1.3 per cent to 10,244. Shares in Santos (ASX:STO) have risen 2.41 per cent and trading at $4.67. Shares in Worleyparsons (ASX:WOR) and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is financials falling 0.6 per cent to 6,570. Shares in Orica (ASX:ORI) have fallen 10.18 per cent, trading at $19.20. Shares in IOOF Holdings (ASX:IOF) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) are also lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,268 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 76.41 US cents.


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