The Australian share market is continuing to track sideways for the month of September and at noon the top 200 stocks are echoing that theme on the back of muted leads.
The US equity market closed lower overnight, while the US Fed Reserve rose its benchmark interest rate a quarter point as expected.
Metal prices eased because of that. Over half of the sectors are making a loss at noon with utilities down 0.8 per cent. While the Energy space is boding well, with Beach Energy up the most in its sector, after announcing its plans for growing, its target for $2 billion free cash flow and plans to grow production in FY23.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 7 points or 0.1 per cent lower at 6,185.. On the futures market the SPI is 1 points higher.
Local economic news
Job vacancies, a key leading indicator of the job market, eased in August, according to the ABS. The number of job vacancies in Australia in August was 240,900 (trend), a rise of 3.4 per cent over the quarter. Over the year, job vacancies rose by 19.3 per cent, with private sector vacancies rising the most, 20.3 per cent and public sector vacancies lifting by 9.5 per cent. The rates are much slower than May’s numbers, which were multi-year highs.
Xero (ASX:XRO) is raising US$300 million via a convertible note issue. The notes are due to in 2023 and will bear an interest rate of 2.375 per cent per annum, with interest payable semi-annually in arrears in April and October, beginning next April. The net proceeds US$242 million will be used for potential acquisitions and investments to drive shareholder value. The style of the capital raise is relatively common in US tech companies, so it’s unique for an Australian tech businesses. Shares in Xero (ASX:XRO) are trading 2.7 per cent lower at $48.33 at noon.
Graphite producer, Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) advised that its binding mining agreement with the Government of Mozambique has now been sanctioned. The agreement consolidates all prior projects and approvals for its Balama project and provides the company with clarity around the governing laws and its mining rights. Shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) are trading 0.9 per cent higher at $2.25 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Consumer Discretionary adding 0.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Utilities, shedding 0.9 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT), rising 6 per cent to $2.11, followed by shares in Speedcast International Limited (ASX:SDA) and Nanosonics Limited (ASX:NAN).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Xero Limited (ASX:XRO), dropping 2.7 per cent to $48.33, followed by shares in Charter Hall Long Wale REIT (ASX:CLW) and Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW).
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,197 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.4 per cent to US$68.96 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.52 US cents.
Bitcoin has gained 1.3 per cent to US$6,514, Ethereum has gained about 2.8 per cent to US$218.