Following negative leads from US markets, the Australian share market opened lower this morning, with the S&P/ASX 200 index now tracking 0.03 per cent up at noon.
The telco sector lifted by around 0.7 per cent this morning, while financials dragged the market down, mainly driven by a sell-off in bank stocks. Investors may be wondering what CoreLogic data showing a drop off in home value prices means for the mortgage heavy banking sector, and whether the quarterly decline, that has now been registered in Australia’s most expensive city Sydney, is the sign of a bigger drop off.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 2.1 points up at 6067. On the futures market the SPI is 11 points higher.
Local economic news
AI Group has released December’s Performance of Manufacturing Index this morning. The PMI came in at 56.2, down 1.1 on the prior month but still over the 50 mark, a key indicator of economic expansion.
CoreLogic home value data released this morning showed home values across the nation dropped by 0.3 per cent compared to November. The downward slide was mainly driven by a drop off of 0.9 per cent in Sydney and in Darwin. Hobart gained 1.5 per cent during the month.
Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX) has announced Grant Kelley has commenced as CEO and Managing Director effective 1 January 2018. Mr Kelley replaces outgoing CEO Angus McNaughton, who has been involved with the property business for close to ten years. Shares in Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX) are trading down 0.37 per cent at $2.71.
Dragon Mining Limited (ASX:DRA) has updated shareholders on its proposed listing on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. The Nordic based miner must obtain an Environmental Permit from the County Administration Board in Vasterbotten, Sweden, to satisfy the exchange's listing requirements. A permit has been granted and during the appeal period, one submission has been received from a local Swedish conservation group. As a result, the permit will not gain legal force until the appeal has been heard by the Swedish Land and Environment Court. Shares in Dragon Mining Limited (ASX:DRA) last traded at $0.20
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector was Utilities adding 0.72 per cent at 8302.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PIL), rising 3.14 per cent to at $1.15. Shares in Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) and Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) are also higher.
The worst performing sector was Financials, shedding 0.22 per cent to 6515 points.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Myer (ASX:MYR), dropping 1.89 per cent to at $0.65. Shares in Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX:GTY) and Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,306 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.16 US cents.
Bitcoin has gained 1.01 per cent in the last 24 hours to $14,020
Ethereum gained about 7.75 per cent to $806
Litecoin has gained about 4.53 per cent to $237