Bumpy sleigh ride: Aus shares 0.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market took a hit at the open, remaining underwater in the first two hours of trade, now tracking about 0.1 per cent lower at noon.

We dropped at the open on the back of soft leads from Wall Street we’ve not really been able to shake off it off with 60 per cent of the sectors trading below the line and property taking biggest hit after Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) fell 2.6 per cent. Treasury Wine (ASX:TWE) is also a bit tipsy, falling about 1.8 per cent leading staples marginally lower.

On the upside, Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) has snapped its losing streak, gaining about 26 per cent. While a rise in the crude oil price to a 2-week high is propelling the energy space, with Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) up 5 per cent

The S&P/ASX 200 index is down 0.1 per cent or 10 points lower to 6,066.

On the futures market the SPI is 34 points lower.

Company news

Mining and services company, Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) $526 million takeover of Oil and natural gas play, AWE (ASX:AWE) has been given the nod by the AWE Board. AWE shareholders will receive 41.5 cents cash and Mineral Resources shares, which leaves an implied value of 83 cents per AWE share. The takeover price is a 63 per cent premium on AWE’s three month volume weighted average price (VWAP). The takeover is subject to shareholder, court and key government body approval (ASIC). Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) shares are 3.17 per cent higher to $19.87

Genesis Energy (ASX:GNE) has advised that one of its power stations generators, that uses water from Lake Tekapo in NZ will return to full capacity in early March 2018, after going offline in November from a fault (Tekapo B’s Generator 3). Its 43 per cent loss from the power generating capability was particularly offset by its other assets and is expected to offset the effect on second half FY18 earnings. Meantime its EBITDAF for FY18 remains unchanged. Shares in Genesis Energy (ASX:GNE) up 0.9 per cent higher to $2.30.

CSL’s (ASX:CSL) Edward Bailey has resigned from the role as company secretary, while he will retain his role as Australian general counsel. John Levy will remain sole company secretary. Its shares are trading 0.5 per cent lower to $140.96.

And Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) has received FDA approval for its regenerative cell therapy in heart failure patients with left ventricular assist devices.

While Sky and Space Global (ASX:SAS) inked a US$30 million deal with BeepTool to take affordable messaging and payment services to key African markets.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 0.8 per cent to 11,390. Shares in Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) have risen 6 per cent and trading at $15.34. Shares in Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Reits, falling 1.3 per cent to 1,427. Shares in Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) have fallen 2.6 per cent, trading at $6.20. Shares in Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) and Iron Mountain Incorporated (ASX:INM) are also lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,267 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 76.64 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 1 per cent in the last 24 hours to $16,837
Ethereum gained about about 4 per cent to $826
And Litecoin has fallen about 3 per cent to $321