Santa sleigh leads ASX lower: Aus shares 0.2% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market has continued its two-day dive with the Energy sector continuing its slump on the back of the oil price sinking 7 per cent.

Overnight we saw oil price fall to a 15-month low, extending its losses from the prior session, on the back of slowing global growth weakening oil demand.

Most of the sectors are lower at noon with Health and Utilities seeing a loss over 1 per cent, while Materials are clawing up with the gold stocks leading, after the precious safe haven commodity price is trading near four-month highs

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 13 points or 0.2 per cent lower at 5,577. That leaves the XJO 13 per cent away from our 10-year highs that the market hit in August.

On the futures market the SPI is 5 points lower.

Company news

Poultry business, Inghams Group (ASX:ING) advised Joel Thickins will be retiring from the board at the end of this calendar year, in keeping with TPG’s reduced holdings in the company. Meantime, Ricky Lau, TPG’s other representative on the board, will remain. The board will be making other changes in the early new year. Shares are trading 1.3 per cent lower at noon at $4.25, but year-on-year it’s trading 26 per cent higher.

Regenerative medicine company Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) has hired an Eric Strati, PhD, to drive product commercialisation of its lead cell therapy product candidate (remestemcel-L) in the United States and Europe. The drug aims to treat steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease (aGVHD), with annual peak sales estimated to reach US$700 million in the United States and Europe. Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) shares are trading 1.4 per cent lower at noon at $1.07.

IPOs

Listed investment trust, Ophir High Conviction Fund (ASX:OPH) started trading on the ASX today. The issue price was $2.15, it opened at $2.22 and it's trading at $2.22.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Financials adding 0.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 2.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR), rising 6.6 per cent to $3.05, followed by shares in St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX:NST).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA), dropping 11.2 per cent to $5.04 after the company announced the drought and increased farming costs will result in milk supply dropping over 5 per cent. Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR) and Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) followed lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,250 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 2 per cent to US$69.03 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.93 US cents.
 

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 with a passion for equities and funds management. As Head of News, she has been a broadcast journalist for over seven years, specialising in finance. She has been a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She’s also worked as a TV reporter for regional Channel 7 and 9. She also previously worked as a financial planner and real estate agent.