Banks weigh, Aristocrat shines: Aus shares 0.2% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is paving its way for its 6th day of losses in a row, with financials dragging the ball today and leading half of the sectors lower.

All the big four banks trade lower with NAB (ASX:NAB) down the most at noon, 1.1 per cent lower, followed by ANZ (ASX:ANZ). But out of banking institutions we are seeing the likes of the Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) fall the most. (Cover their news in a sec)

Miners are in the red today with Fortescue (ASX:FMG) down the most out of heavy weights, followed by Rio (ASX:RIO), while BHP (ASX:BHP) has fallen the least. Their minor slide comes as the iron ore price has lost 0.5 per cent, hitting US$64.11, while the ore futures point to a rise of 0.7 per cent.

Meantime, half of the sectors are making gains. Discretionary players are up the most with staples following with the likes of Woolworths (ASX:WOW) shares hitting a one year high today, hitting $29.15

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 10 points or 0.2 per cent lower at 6,023. On the futures market the SPI is 10 points lower.

Company news 

Gambling giant Aristocrat (ASX:ALL) is making big waves, rising the most among large companies, after its net profit after tax rose 3 per cent to $257 million for the six months to 31 March 2018. Meantime its revenue soared about 29 per cent in the half year to $1.6 billion, bolstered by growth in its American and digital businesses. The group also says the acquisition of Plarium and Big Fish, as well as better performance in ANZ region also helped. And for the full financial year, it’s expecting double digit profits (net profit after tax before amortisation and acquired intangibles NPATA), while maintaining market share and reducing its effective tax rate by 3 per cent compared to the 2017 financial year. It’s declared an interim dividend of 19 cents, fully franked payable at the end of this month. At noon, Aristocrat (ASX:ALL) shares have gained 7.1 per cent at $29.77.

The Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) has taken a bit of hit today after the bank came under fire at the banking royal commission hearings yesterday. Today however one of its executive presented to Morgans, the financial advising and stock broking house, with the chief operating officer saying its Virgin Money Australia business continues to exceed expectations. Anthony Rose also noted that although there are structural changes ahead, they provide the bank with opportunity. At noon, The Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) shares are trade 2 per cent lower at $10.10

The best and worst performers

The best performing sector is discretionary sector adding 1.5 per cent while the worst performing sector is financials shedding 0.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX:ALL), rising 7.1 per cent at $29.77, followed by shares in The a2 Milk Company Limited (ASX:A2M) and Metcash Limited (ASX:MTS).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Greencross Limited (ASX:GXL), dropping 4.1 per cent to $4.01, followed by shares in Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX:MND) and Technology One Limited (ASX:TNE).

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is steady.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,294 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.51 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$7,633, Ethereum is at US$596 and EOS is los the most, down 7 per cent to US$11.28