The Aussie share market is having soft start to the trading session and is now flat lining. We dropped at the open following weak leads from Wall Street (which saw the Dow and the S&P 500 fall below their 50-day moving average). But on the back of a swag of companies reporting better than expected results, the is ASX200 starting to claw back early losses.
At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.02 per cent lower at 5,941. On the futures market the SPI is 2 points lower.
Over half of the sector are charging ahead today, with staples bounding ahead as a2 Milk (ASX:A2M) announced net profit after tax soared 150 per cent to NZ$98.5 million for the half year to December and its shares gained over 24 per cent with Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL) following. Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) also reported better than expected results and its shares are about over 3 per cent higher.
Holding us back is selling in mining the sectors which is seeing the most selling. It comes as BHP (ASX:BHP) reported after market close yesterday, with its results missing analysts expectations. Its trading over 4 per cent lower. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) reported a 40 per cent fall in its net profit in the half year and that its borrowed US$1.4 billion which will drop its borrowing costs by US$80 million. Its shares are over 3 per cent lower.
Local economic news
The wage price index rose more than expected in the fourth quarter of 2017, with wages rises 0.6 per cent, beating forecasts of a 0.5 per cent lift in seasonally adjusted terms.
Meantime, construction work fell more than expected, falling 19.4 per cent in the December quarter, far greater than the 10 per cent fall expected in seasonally adjusted terms. It is also important to note in the prior quarter, construction work lifted 15.7 per cent.
News and industrial businesses, Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW) reported a 64 per cent lift in its underlying net profit for the half year, rising to $170 million for the period ending December. It also declared it will pay a 21 cent per share fully franked dividend on 20 April 2018. Its bolstered results came on the back of its industrial services businesses with greater demand from mining activity. Its shares are trading 15.3 per cent higher at $19.01.
Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) announced a 81 per cent uptick in its statutory net profit after tax to $445 in the full 2017 calendar year, which it says was broadly in line with its guidance. It also bolstered its earnings per share (EPS) by 2.2 per cent in the year. Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) are trading 2.9 per cent higher at $8.94.
Recycling and waste management company, Cleanaway (ASX:CWY) etched a 61 per cent lift in its half year profit to $45 million and an over 8 per cent rise in its revenue to $790 million. It also declared an interim dividend of 1.1 cents per share, 30 per cent franked, payable on 6 April 2018. All this comes despite forking out costs for the purchase of Toxfree and SA Waste. Cleanaway (ASX:CWY) shares are trading 6.4 per cent higher at $1.49,
Angel Seafood Holdings (ASX:AS1) started trading today. The organic oysters company floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.20 and its trading at $0.19.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is staples adding 3.6 per cent to 10,410 points while the worst performing sector is materials, shedding 2.2 per cent to 11,488 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is The a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M), rising 24.2 per cent to $10.82, followed by shares in Seven Group Holdings (ASX: VW) and Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC), dropping 18.6 per cent to $11.92, followed by shares in BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Vocus Group Limited (ASX:VOC).
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,329 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.84 US cents.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin is 1 per cent lower at US$11,281, Ethereum is trading 5 per cent lower at US$900 and Ripple is 7 per cent lower at US$1.07.