Bumpy Santa ride: Aus shares flat noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market took a slide at the open on the back of US stocks snapping their winning streak, after Apple shares fell 1 per cent after a broker downgrade.

But the ASX200 is mustering up strength with half of the market clawing, leaving us pretty much flat at noon.

The Discretionary space in the lead after Dreamworld owner Ardent Leisure (ASX:AAD) gained over 8 per cent at noon, leading the likes of Kogan (ASX:KGN) and Webjet (ASX:WEB) higher. It comes as Ardent announced it’s selling its Bowling & Entertainment division for $160 million.

Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) is continuing to claim the worst performing post falling 9.6 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.02 per cent higher or 1 point up to 6,073 points.

On the futures market the SPI is 3 points lower.

Local economic news 

Household borrowing more than halved according to the ABS’s Finance and Wealth publication.

And the ABS also announced Santa will be busy this Christmas visiting the 2 million Australian families with children under the age of 12. The 2016 Census showed that the most little ones live in New South Wales (1.2 million), followed by Victoria (947,408) and then Queensland (795,908).

Company news

Dairy processing company, Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) has partnered with Foodstuffs South Island to supply fresh milk and cream from late 2019 onwards. It will invest $125 million in a liquid and cream processing packaging facility that establishes a platform for it to produce products for both the domestic and export markets. Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) shares are trading 1.1 per cent higher at $6.25.

GPT Group (ASX:GPT) has claimed a seat as one of the worst performing stocks so far this session after it declared its distribution for the six months to 31 December 2017 will be 12.3 cents per ordinary share. The company will go ex-distribution on 28 December 2017 and it will pay the distribution on 28 February 2018. Its group distribution reinvestment plan has been suspended. GPT Group (ASX:GPT) shares slid 1.29 per cent lower at $5.36.

Surveying services firm Veris (ASX:VRS) has won multiple contracts worth over $5 million at four state and territory infrastructure developments. It will work on then North Connex, Canberra Light Rail, Newcastle Light Rail and the NBN Eden to Brisbane. Veris shares last traded at 17.5 cents.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Discretionary, gaining 0.5 per cent to 2,341. Shares in Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:AAD) have risen 7.8 per cent and trading at $1.86. Shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Domino's Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) are also stronger. 

The worst performing sector is Telcos, falling 0.8 per cent to 1,321. Shares in Telstra Corporation (ASX:TLS) have fallen almost 1 per cent, trading at $3.67. Shares in Tpg Telecom (ASX:TPM) and Chorus (ASX:CNU) are also lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,263 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 76.63 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded are in a red territory.

Bitcoin has fallen 11 per cent in the last 24 hours to $16,977
Ethereum fallen about over 2 per cent to $778
And Litecoin has fallen about 8 per cent to $327