The Australian share market dropped at the open and is trading lower at noon. BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), Westpac (ASX:WBC) and Telstra (ASX:TLS) have all seen falls, weighing down the market. Meanwhile, Whitehaven (ASX:WHC) and Santos (ASX:SAN) are making small gains. Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) has seen a dip after they announced the completion of an institutional share placement to raise around $200 million. Meanwhile, we see the Energy sector leading the way and the Telcos sector trailing behind as the local bourse fell in the first two hours of trade. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.1 per cent lower or 8 points down at 6172. On the futures market the SPI is eyeing a gain of 39 points.
Routine maintenance of a system at Synlait Dunsandel (NZX:SML; ASX:SM1) has caused minor damage to a part of the site energy centre, causing a site evacuation. An ammonia detection system was activated as a result of a damaged valve. All employees and visitors have been evacuated safely. One employee is receiving minor medical treatment and being taken to hospital as a precaution. Emergency services and technical experts are onsite and managing the situation and Synlait anticipates business as usual activities to resume early in the afternoon. Shares in Synlait Dunsandel (NZX:SML; ASX: SM1) are 0.2 per cent lower at $11.98.
The board of retirement village and holiday park company the Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX:GTY) says it has received no further approaches or proposals to acquire the group and that the Hometown Offer is the only offer available to security holders. Hometown is a US based prefab giant. Their offer price of $2.25 per Gateway security in cash is final and will not be increased. The Gateway Board unanimously recommends that Gateway security holders accept the Offer as soon as reasonably practicable. Shares in Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX:GTY) is trading flat at $2.24
1414 degrees (ASX:14D) started trading today. The clean energy storage provider floated with an issue price of $0.35, opened at $0.25 and its trading at $0.23.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Energy adding 1.8 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Telcos, shedding 0.9 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), rising 3.8 per cent to $5.19, followed by shares in Mondelphous Group (ASX:MND) and Premier Investments (ASX:PMV).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA), dropping 5.3 per cent to $7.18, followed by shares in Perpetual (ASX:PPT) and Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC).
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,195 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.2 per cent to US$67.67 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.96 US cents.
Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin has fallen 0.7 per cent to US$6322, Ethereum has fallen 7.7 per cent to US$182.