Energy and Financials drag on ASX: Aus shares 0.3% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The Australian share market dropped 13.5 points at the open and is now tracking 0.3 per cent lower at noon. Most sectors opened lower with Whitehaven Coal, Nine Entertainment and St. Barbera among the worst performing stocks as the companies go ex-dividend today. The telco sector is leading the way cent in the first two hours of trade with Telstra up 1.5 per which is helping to counter weakness in the energy and financial sectors.

Meantime, Shares in Technology One (ASX:TNE) are up over 3.5 per cent after Bell Potter maintained its buy recommendation. Analysts are expecting the company to meet its financial year 18 guidance with net profit growth towards the upper end of the 10-15 per cent range.

Iron ore futures up indicating 0.6 per cent rise. We are seeing the likes of BHP (ASX:BHP), and Fortescue (ASX:FMG) make gains.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 18 points down at 6293. On the futures market the SPI is 4 points lower.

Local economic news

Australia's current account deficit increased by almost $1.8 billion to $13.5 billion in the June quarter driven mainly by increased net primary income deficit according to the ABS. The balance on goods and services surplus in the quarter was $2.8 billion, a fall of $532 million on the March quarter

Company news

Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) shares are up almost 9 per cent after the board's unanimous recommendation that shareholders vote in favour of the company's acquisition of hard-rock mining contractor Barminco. The Independent Expert has concluded that in the absence of a superior offer, the Barminco transaction is are fair and reasonable to Ausdrill's shareholders. The buyout approved by Barminco will be made up of $25.4 million in cash and $150.7 million in Ausdrill shares. Shares in AUsdrill (ASX:ASL) are trading 8.54 per cent higher $1.72

Meantime, Wealth Management Company, Yellow Brick Road (ASX:YBR) says the takeover bid by Mercantile is "grossly inadequate" and is recommending shareholders reject the 9 cent cash offer. Mercantile Investment Company launched the bid on August 20. This morning Yellow Brick Road's executive chairman Mark Bouris sent shareholders a letter saying the bid price does not reflect Yellow Brick Road's full value relative to peer market valuations Shares in Yellow Brick Road (ASX:YBR) are flat at 10 cents.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Telcos adding 0.9 per cen tto 1161 points while the worst performing sector is energy, shedding 0.8 per cent to 11 771points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ausdrilll (ASX:ASL), rising 8.54 per cent to $1.72, followed by shares in Bellamys (ASX:BAL) and Speedcast (ASX:SDA).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC),dropping 7.5 per cent to $4.74, followed by shares in Spark Infrastructure (ASX:SKC) and Nine (ASX:NEC).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has dropped 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed  0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,202 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.01 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed. Bitcoin has gained 0.4 per cent per cent to US$7292, Ethereum dropped about 0.9 per cent to US$291 and Eos has fallen about 0.9 per cent to US$6.49.