ASX 2018 wild ride continues: Aus shares 0.1% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market touched a two-year low yesterday, a point it last hit on 19 December 2016, and today the ASX is clawing back up. It was 0.4 per cent higher earlier in the session, and now it's 0.1 per cent higher.

About half of the sectors are leading the clawback today with the smaller tech sector up the most, after the Nasdaq rose the most out of the US indices in their session, gaining 0.7 per cent, but not enough to recoup the prior session's losses.

As for the rest of our sectors, Healthcare is clawing back from its losses and leads Industrials, Materials and Property higher.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 6 points at 5,559. On the futures market the SPI is 3 points higher.

Broker moves

Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group (ASX:SCP) has been downgraded as sell by Goldman Sachs, with GS noting it has underperformed the broader A-REIT market and it reflects concerns about consumer spending on household goods. GS says this is a contrast to Charter Hall Retail REIT (ASX:CQR) which has 'outperformed its peers', ‘given its defensive characteristics in their portfolio and modest improvements in retail sales’. However, if you look at their charts, and compared the two stocks Charter Hall Retail REIT (ASX:CQR) is up 7 per cent year-on-year and Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group (ASX:SCP) is up 10 per cent.

Company news

Staying on the Australian property development company theme, Stockland (ASX:SGP) responded to media speculation and has confirmed it is in negotiations to sell its residential project, The Grove in Melbourne. The group says while negotiations are ongoing, there is no certainty a sale will come to fruition. Shares in Stockland (ASX:SGP) are trading 0.5 per cent lower at $3.71 at noon. Year-on-year it is trading per cent about 20 per cent lower.

Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) advised its rectified the pipeline damage and completed a successful pressure test at its Sole gas project off Victoria Australia after it was damaged from the sea floor. Shares in Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) are trading 3.7 per cent higher at $0.42 at noon. Year-on-year it is trading about 44 per cent higher.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Health Care adding 1.5 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Staples, shedding 1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TPG), rising 8.4 per cent to $7.98, followed by shares in New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX:NHC) and Inghams Group Limited (ASX:ING).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY), dropping 4.3 per cent to $2.35, followed by shares in QBE Insurance Group Limited (ASX:QBE) and Automotive Holdings Group Limited (ASX:AHG).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,246 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.6 per cent to US$66.12 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.88 US cents.