Financials slip: Aus shares 0.2% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market opened higher after Amazon and Facebook both reached all-time highs which led Wall Street higher.

But after staples and financials are putting a cap on gains today, the ASX has entered red territory with the S&P/ASX 200 index 0.2 per cent lower or 11 points down at 6,258 points at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 10 points lower.

But it we go back and pause on financials for a second, Netwealth (ASX:NWL) is trading 4.3 per cent higher despite a broker downgrade from a buy to a neutral yesterday. The rally really comes after it lifted its profit guidance 6 per cent.

Health stocks are continued with bode well with CSL (ASX:CSL) extending its all time highs and pushing further above $200.

Miners are seeing modest gains, after the iron ore price rose 1.1 per cent to US$64.06, while its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.1 per cent.

Company news

Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) is one of the best performing stocks after its JV with Hexagon Resources (ASX:HXG) started a definitive feasibility study for their flake graphite project in the East Kimberley region of WA. It comes as Mineral Resources (MinRes) approved the initial budget for the study works, including a drill program of 12,000 metres. Drilling will also test new targets in the east, support a planned upgrade and generate core samples for metallurgical test work. It’s booked to be completed by October 2019, allowing for a mining decision to be made. Shares in Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) are trading 3.99 per cent higher at $15.88.

Serviced office provider, Servcorp (ASX:SRV) has settled on proceedings brought down by the corporate watchdog, agreeing to pay the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) $150,000 and undertake a compliance program for two of its subsidiaries. It comes after the Federal Court found that three small serviced business office contracts that were unfair, and therefore void. Shares in Servcorp (ASX:SRV) are trading 0.96 per cent lower at $4.11.

IPOs

Petrol production company Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA) started trading today, floating with an issue price of $2.50, opened at $2.43 and its trading at $2.45.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is healtcare adding 0.85 per cent, while the worst performing sector is consumer staples, shedding 0.98 per cent..

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN), rising 4 per cent to $15.88, followed by shares in Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) and Appen Limited (ASX:APX).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bellamy's Australia Limited (ASX:BAL), dropping 2.9 per cent to $12.54, followed by shares in Orora Limited (ASX:ORA) and Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL).

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,247 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.13 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed. Bitcoin has fallen 1.9 per cent to US$6,246, Ethereum has fallen 1.6 per cent to US$435 and EOS is going the other way, trading about 1 per cent to US$7.12.