Rocky start to the trading year: ASX tracking 0.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market started the trading year opening lower defying positive leads from Wall Street and is now tracking 0.1 per cent lower at noon. The major banks saw some small losses with Westpac (ASX:WBC) seeing a 1 per cent drop. Poultry producer Ingham's Group is down 2.8 per cent and Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) found themselves on the poor performers list – they've just announced they've appointed Sebastien Lehnherr as the company's chief operating officer. The Telco sector didn’t fare so well today – healthcare is leading the way. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 3 points down at 5644. On the futures market the SPI is 21 points higher.

Company news

Brisbane-based energy company Comet Ridge (ASX:COI) have kicked off their 325 kilometre 2D Koburra seismic programme over the three large Galilee permits. The programme objective is to identify broad structural trends within the permit area and to delineate structural targets for follow up drilling. The turn key project is being managed by Synterra Technologies. Shares in Comet Ridge (ASX:COI) last traded at 33 cents.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Healthcare adding 0.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Telco services, shedding 0.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR), rising 6.3 per cent to $1.60, followed by shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Bellamy's (ASX:BAL).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Inghams (ASX:ING), dropping 3.4 per cent to $3.99, followed by shares in Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) and Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,280 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.42 US cents.