The Australian share market has snapped its two day losing streak and is tracking slightly higher (0.1 per cent higher) with most sectors making gains at noon. However, it looks like our local market will finish lower for the week, as the Material (mining) sector is 1.9 per cent lower this week, largely after Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) reported results which missed market expectations and that caused other miners to see selling.
But today, we are seeing strength in the Health sector, with Cochlear (ASX:COH) rising over 1 per cent, and the Discretionary sector is also boding well, with Kogan (ASX:KGN), Myer (ASX:MYR), Breville (ASX:BRG), and Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) rising on the back of fresh retail figures from the ABS.
While financials are trading in the red, on the back of a potential mortgage price war, after ANZ (ASX:ANZ) cut its rates, with some investors reacting to the news today.
Miners are also in the red, continuing on from yesterday, despite the iron ore price rising 0.5 to US$66.87 overnight, while its futures eyeing a gain of 1.3 per cent. But it’s trading higher month on month, clawing up from its US$62.83 level.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 8 points or 0.1 per cent higher at 6,249. On the futures market the SPI is 1 points higher.
Retail trade grew by 0.4 per cent in June (neck on neck with May’s retail sales growth), slightly better than the 0.3 per cent lift expected. It comes as department stores sales fell 1.2 per cent in the month. While clothing, footwear and personal accessories sales lifted by 1.7 per cent, following a 2.3 per cent rise in May.
Australia’s service industry slowed more than expected in July. The Australian Industry Group’s (AIG) performance of services index fell by 9.4 points to a reading of 53.6 in July, indicating a slowing of growth from June's record high. It also disappointed some economists who forecast the index would fall to a reading of 55. (But remember, the reading is still in in expansionary territory, above a reading of 50).
Kogan (ASX:KGN) is one of the best performers in the Discretionary sector today, taking the stock back to where it was last Friday and it’s now trading above its eight day moving average price. It advised the market it will report its results for the year ending 30 June 2018, in two weeks time (Friday 17 August 2018). The founder and CEO will live stream the results at 10.30am. Last week it advised its unaudited revenue had grown 40 per cent in FY18 on FY17. While its unaudited EBITDA is 90 per cent higher than FY17. Shares in Kogan (ASX:KGN) are trading are trading 7.3 per cent higher at $5.29.
Fashion accessory business known for its leather handbags, Oroton (ASX:ORL) has applied to be removed from ASX’s official list, as it will be wholly owned by a Manderrah family trust. Shareholders will shortly receive a holding statement reflecting that shares have been transferred to Manderrah. It follows the Supreme Court approving the transaction. Shares in Oroton (ASX:ORL) last traded at $0.43.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is S&P/ASX Health Care adding 1.00 per cent, while the worst performing sector is financials, gaining 0.6 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Appen Limited (ASX:APX), rising 7.9 per cent to $11.72, followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS) and Xero Limited (ASX:XRO).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:AAD), dropping 2.7 per cent to $1.78, followed by shares in South32 Limited (ASX:S32) and Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG).
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.04 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,207 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.62 US cents.
Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin has fallen 4 per cent to US$7,377, Ethereum has lost 5 per cent to US$403 and EOS has shed about 5 per cent to US$6.94