After rising 0.3 per cent to a decade high of 6306 in early trade the local bourse has dropped amid sharp declines in banking stocks. The ASX is now tracking 0.2 per cent lower at noon. Investors are selling off financial, telco & consumer staples stocks. CBA is down more than 1 per cent with the other large banks following suit. Utilities are down and Consumer staples are also lagging, due in large part to Metcash going exdividend. Telcos are underperforming with Amaysim down 11 per cent following news that the ACCC has commenced proceedings against the company. Going the other way, mining & energy stocks are rallying, helping to pare the market’s losses. Miners are doing quite well on the back of stronger iron ore prices, BHP is up by 1.5 per cent.
The iron ore price looks set for further gains its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.09 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 12 points lower at 6274 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is eyeing a fall of 8 points
Skin care company BWX (ASX:BWX) has responded to media reports regarding legal proceedings filed against the company by Waterloo Capital Partners (WCP). Yesterday, Fairfax Media reported that WCP has filed a claim in the New York Supreme Court accusing BWX management of engaging in deceptive business practices by reneging on a signed deal. But, BWX says the claim has been filed opportunistically and says it will vigorously defend the proceedings. The lawsuit has arisen as Bain Capital conducts due diligence on BWX, following its takeover offer for the company last month. Shares in BWX (ASX:BWX) are trading 2.65 per cent lower at $5.52
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is materials adding 0.83 per cent to 12353 points while the worst performing sector is utilities shedding 1.26 per cent to 8318 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is IPH (ASX:IPH), rising 5.19 per cent to $4.86, followed by shares in Pilbara minerals (ASX:PLS) and Bellamy’s Australia (ASX:BAL).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pendal Group (ASX:PDL), dropping 4.3 per cent to $9.88, followed by shares in Ausnet Services (ASX:AST) and Metcash (ASX:MTS).
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.9 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1259 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.76 US cents.
Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin has fallen 0.2 per cent to US$6752, Ethereum is down about 2.4 per cent to US$474 and EOS has dropped about 2.3 per cent to US$7.71