Australian shares saw a heavy fall after the open following on from US stocks that took a tumble. Major banks and miners were leading the fall here, following a global sell-off in equities and commodities. The Healthcare sector is leading the way and the Energy sector trailing behind. Woodside (ASX:WPL) is down despite entering into a long-term gas sale and purchase agreement with Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers for the supply of pipeline gas for a term of 20 years. Banking company CYBG has fallen. Meanwhile internet auction website in New Zealand Trade Me (ASX:TME) was one of the best performers today after receiving a indicative proposal from Apax Partners to acquire 100 per cent of their shares at a cash price of NZ$6.40 per share. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 53 points down at 5619, 0.9 per cent down. On the futures market the SPI is 55 points lower.
Freedom Oil & Gas (ASX:FDM) has successfully drilled seven wells under its continuous Eagle Ford Shale development program in Dimmit County, Texas. Three of the wells are expected to be completed and on production next month. Utilizing a dedicated rig, the Company is currently drilling an eighth well and expects to have approximately 16 wells drilled within the 6 month drilling contract that ends mid-February 2019. The average number of days needed to drill each well has declined to about 9.3 days on our most recent three wells drilled on the North Hovencamp pad, down from 11.5 days for the three Vega wells. Strong production results are expected. Shares in Freedom Oil & Gas (ASX:FDM) down 3.4 per cent to $0.14
Coles (ASX:COL) started trading today. Opened at $12.49 and its trading at $13.04.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Healthcare adding 1.2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 2.8 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Trade Me Group (ASX:TME), rising 16.7 per cent to $5.58, followed by shares in Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) and Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Wesfarmers (ASX:WES), dropping 29.04 per cent to $31.38, followed by shares in CYBG (ASX:CYB) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,221 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 1.9 per cent to US$74.65 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 2.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.20 US cents.
Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin has fallen 10.2 per cent to US$4393, Ethereum fallen about 14.3 per cent to US$128 and XRp down 11.5 per cent to almost $0.43.