The Australian share market opened lower following mixed leads from Wall Street and is now tracking 0.3 per cent lower at noon despite it coming within 3 points of its ten year high. Index heavyweights NAB (ASX:NAB) and Telstra (ASX:TLS) were a drag on the market down 3.4 and 2.5 per cent respectively. Iron futures are eyeing a loss of 0.1 per cent. CSL (ASX:CSL), BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA)are the market leaders today although all three are up less than 1 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.3 per cent or 18 points down at 6118. On the futures market the SPI is 3 points lower.
Local economic news
The march results for housing finance for owner occupation compared to February rose 0.2 per cent in trend terms, while the seasonally adjusted series fell 1.9 per cent.
The trend series for the value of total personal finance commitments fell 0.3per cent. Fixed lending commitments fell 1.3 per cent, while revolving credit commitments rose 1.4 per cent.
And in new tourism stats - Indonesia, China, Thailand, India and Japan all feature amongst the most popular destinations for Australian travellers, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Australian oil major Santos (ASX:STO) has released a statement noting media speculation about an agreement between Shanghai-listed ENN Ecological Holdings and Harbour Energy. Santos confirms it has not received a notification of any agreement or any change in substantial holding in relation to its shares. There’s no certainty at this time that the Harbour Proposal will result in an offer for Santos and they continue to advise shareholders take no action in relation to the Harbour Proposal at this time. Shares of ENN were halted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on May 15 pending an announcement.
Shares in Santos are trading 0.8 per cent lower at $6.20
Medlab (ASX:MDC) have reached a key milestone for their company as they announce a trial commencement of Nanabis –their cannabis based medicine for use in cancer pain. The first shipment will be to the Royal North Shore Hospital. The trial will test safety and dose tolerance of cancer patients in both managed and unmanaged pain.
Shares in Medlad are trading 3.6 per cent higher at $0.57
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is financials excluding REIT despite losing 0.05 per cent to 6900 points while the worst performing sector is Telcos, shedding 2.9 per cent to 1091 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Link Administration (ASX:LNK), rising 7 per cent to $7.27, followed by shares in Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR) and Fletcher Building (ASX:FBU).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Automative Holdings (ASX:AHG), dropping 11.2 per cent to $3.02 followed by shares in GWA Group (ASX:GWA) and Seven West Media (ASX:SWM).
Japan’s Nikkei is flat at 0.07 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,314 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.29 US cents.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed.
Bitcoin has gained 0.5 per cent to US$8726, Ethereum and bitcoin cash are amoung the most traded currencies.