The Australian share market opened lower is now tracking 0.1 per cent higher at noon. Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) shares are up to almost 7 per cent today, rebounding from the resignation of its chief financial officer, Theresa Mlikota. Gold miners are not faring so well today, with Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) one of the worst performers. Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) are also on the worst performers. Consumer staples was the leader today with materials dragging behind. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 6 points up at 5820. On the futures market the SPI is 10 points higher.
Local economic news
The trend estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done fell 0.7 per cent in the September 2018 quarter. The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done fell 3.8 per cent in the September quarter to over $23 million.
Woodside (ASX:WPL) has awarded four contracts for front-end engineering design activities for the proposed Scarborough Project. The contracts have been awarded to McDermott Australia, Subsea Integration Alliance, Saipem Australia and Intecsea Pty. Each contract was awarded by Woodside in its corporate capacity as a Scarborough titleholder and will be funded initially by Woodside on a 100 per cent basis. Shares in Woodside (ASX:WPL) is 0.3 per cent lower at $33.36.
Insurance company Tower (ASX:TWR) today announced the appointment of Marcus Nagel as a non-executive director. He was nominated by Bain Capital Credit LP to represent Bain Capital’s stake in Tower. Bain Capital hold 19.99 per cent of Tower’s ordinary shares. Shares in Tower Limited (ASX:TWR) are 0.7 per cent lower at $0.69.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Consumer Staples adding 0.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Materials shedding 1.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ausdrill (ASX:ASL), rising 6.8 per cent to $1.26, followed by shares in NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF) and G8 Education (ASX:GBM).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU), dropping 4 per cent to $7.45, followed by shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRL).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,291 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.02 per cent to US$73.78
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.97 US cents.