The Australian share market opened slightly higher this morning following mixed leads from Wall Street, took a sharp dip an hour into trade, but has started to gain positive momentum leading into the mid session and is trading 0.1 per cent lower at noon. Utilities and Real Estate are leading the charge back into the green.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 3 points down at 6,379. On the futures market the SPI is 10 points lower.
Local economic news
The ABS has released its Producer Price Indexes for the month of March. Final demand excluding exports rose 0.4 per cent for the March quarter and 1.9 per cent year on year.
The ABS also released International Trade Price Indexes for the month of March. The Import Price Index fell 0.5 per cent in the March quarter of 2019. This offsets a rise of the same amount in the preceding December quarter. The Export Price Index for the March quarter rose 4.5 per cent. This follows a rise in the December quarter 2018 of 4.4 per cent.
WAM Leaders (ASX:WLE) has appointed Ross Finley to the board of directors. Mr Finley joins WAM Leaders following its acquisition of Century Australia Investments, for which Ross served as a Director. Ross boasts over 40 years of experience in the Australian financial markets with a focus on equities and property management. He previously served as executive vice president of the funds management division at Bankers Trust Australia and is also a director of Ironbark Capital Limited. Shareholders will vote on the appointment at the company's AGM in November 2019. Shares in WAM Leaders (ASX:WLE) are down 0.23 per cent at $1.11.
National Veterinary Care (ASX:NVL) has penned conditional binding agreements to acquire two veterinary clinics in New Zealand. The new clinics are expected to deliver aggregate annual revenue of approximately $3.65 million and aggregate annual earnings before interest and tax of approximately $0.76 million. The acquisitions will cost $3.94 million, with total upfront payments of $3.25 million and deferred components (subject to earnout conditions) of $0.72 million. This follows the company's acquisition of Pet Doctors Group in New Zealand late last year and brings the company's total number of integrated veterinary services businesses to 99. Shares in National Veterinary Care (ASX:NVL) are down 3.34 per cent $1.88.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Utilies adding 1.2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 1.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR), rising 4.7 per cent to $2.68, followed by shares in Unibail-Rodamco Westfield (ASX:URW) and Nearmap (ASX:NEA).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT),dropping 12.4 per cent to $38.69, followed by shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and Domino's Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP).
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is flat rising only 0.02 and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.5 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,280 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.1 per cent to US$93.50.
Iron ore futures are flat.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.18 US cents.