The Australian share market has backtracked after Wall Street ended its Tuesday session in the red with tech stocks falling the most after Facebook lost over 5 per cent and Apple lost 1.5 per cent.
Today, most of the ASX sectors are trading lower on the back of weak sentiment and a mixed bag of economic news.
The iron ore price held steady overnight at US$64.55 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.3 per cent. We are seeing the likes of BHP (ASX:BHP), Rio (ASX:RIO) and Fortescue (ASX:FMG) make soft falls.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 24 points or 0.4 per cent to 6,186 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 24 points lower.
Local economic news
Retail sales ticked up by 0.4 per cent in May according to the ABS, beating economists expectations. Despite the growth, it was less than the prior month's 0.5 per cent growth.
Australia’s trade surplus hit $827 million in May, an $355 million improvement, on the balance of goods and services from April. Despite the rise, it missed market and economist expectations, that it would jump to a to a surplus of $1.2 billion (in seasonally adjusted terms). The biggest change was a rise in non-monetary gold imports, which rose 23 per cent. Non-monetary gold accounts for jewelry in dental work, gold held ‘as a store of value’ and industrial gold.
The owner of IGA, Celebrations and Mitre10, Metcash (ASX:MTS) is giving shareholders the opportunity to get involved in its $125 million buy-back, which gives investors the chance to sell some or all of their shares, by submitting a tender and Metcash will buy them back. Chairman of the company, Rob Murray says it will benefit shareholders whether they get involved or not, by improving its earnings per share and by reducing the number of shares on issue. The buy back equates to about 5.3 per cent of the company’s shares. Shares in Metcash (ASX:MTS) are about $0.10 off their one-month low. At noon, its 0.2 per cent lower at $2.66.
Fintech company, Change Financial (ASX:CCA) appointed a new CEO, Eric Bachman, to bring the company’s payment processing platform to the market. He’s worked with likes of Goldman Sachs, Yahoo, Westpac (ASX:WBC), PayPal and Deloitte. Outgoing CEO Ash Shilkin will move to an Exec Director role in the company. At the same time it also announced it’s raised US$2.6 million via a placement and will increase its majority stake in the Australian-start up cryptocurrency Ivy Koin, which aims to address anti-money laundering concerns in the banking sector. Shares in Change Financial (ASX:CCA) are trading 5.97 per cent lower at $0.63 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is telcos adding 1.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is industrials, shedding 0.6 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Resolut Mining (ASX:RSG), rising 6.1 per cent to $1.39, followed by shares in St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM) and Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Platinum Asset Managment (ASX: PTM), dropping 8.5 per cent to $5.37, followed by shares in Magellan Financial Group Limited (ASX:MFG) and Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Limited (ASX:GMA).
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,260 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.14 US cents.
Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin has fallen 2.3 per cent to US$6,474, Ethereum is about 4 per cent lower to US$458 and EOS has fallen about 3.8 per cent to US$8.66.