The Australian share market got off to sluggish start following weak leads from Wall Street mainly due to concerns over President Donald Trump's anticipated announcement on tariffs. President Trump has now announced new tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods to take effect on September 24. The news is negatively impacting Australian shares with most sectors trading in the red, energy stocks posting heavy losses with Origin Energy shedding over 3 per cent. The Aussie dollar has also fallen following the US President's announcement Meanwhile aged care providers are recovering some of yesterday's losses with Regis Healthcare up 5.17 and Aveo Group up 3.88 per cent. . Building products company CSR is among the wrost performers after maintained it's sell recommendation on the stock.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 16 points down at 6169. On the futures market the SPI is 14 points lower.
Local economic news
Residential property prices fell 0.7 per cent in the June quarter 2018, according to figures released today by the ABS. ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman says that Australia's two largest cities continued to lead the fall: "Sydney recorded the fourth consecutive quarter of falling property prices, with Melbourne not far behind property prices fell 0.8 per cent, the second quarter of price falls for the city.
TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) has announced its (reported) net profit for the 2018 financial year fell 4.3 per cent to $398 million. Revenue lifted 0.2 per cent on the prior year to almost $2.5 billion. Meantime, earnings (EBITDA) were down 5.6 per cent to $841 million. The telco has declared a final fully franked dividend of 2 cents. Shares in TPG Telecom are trading 0.1 per cent lower at $8.71 at noon.
Meantime, New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) has announced a 96 per increase in profit before tax and non regular items to $361 million. The strong result was underpinned by a portfolio of quality assets and growing demand for higher quality thermal coal. In more good news for the energy company it's revenue lifted 28 per cent to almost $1.1 billion. Earnings (EBITDA) increased 60 per cent to $453 million. Shares in New Hope Corporation are trading 0.5 per cent higher at $3.70 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is utilities adding almost 1 per cent while the worst performing sector is energy, shedding 1.4 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Western Areas (ASX:WSA), rising 4.6 per cent to $2.50, followed by shares in Estia Health (ASX:EHE) and Metcash (ASX:MTS).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 isAfterpay (ASX:APT),dropping 5.12 per cent to $15.94, followed by shares in CSR (ASX:CSR) and Speedcast (ASX:SDA).
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.8 per cent and the Shanghai Composite haslost 0.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,198 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.7 per cent to US$68.14 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.72 US cents.
Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading /lower. Bitcoin has fallen 3.7 per cent to US$6283, Ethereum IS down over 11 per cent to US$198 and Eos down over 10 per cent to $4.88.