The Australian share market dropped at the open following negative leads from Wall Street but managed to gain momentum and is now tracking 0.5 per cent higher at noon. Estia Health (ASX:EHE) saw their shares fall this morning after announcing they have been served with a class action, filed on behalf of shareholders. Elders (ASX:ELD) saw their shares rise this morning, they reported earlier this week their intention to buy Australian Independent Rural Retailers.The Consumer Staples sector is leading the way and the Energy sector trailing behind. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 31 points up at 6,672. On the futures market the SPI is 25 points higher.
Local economic news
The six month annualised growth rate in the Westpac– Melbourne Institute Leading Index, rose from –0.47 per cent in May to –0.02 per cent in June.
Citi has downgraded mining company Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) to a Neutral from a Buy, with a 12-month price target of $1.60. Citi rate Galaxy as high risk due to underlying lithium price volatility and uncertainty around project start and ramp-up. Shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) trading 1.5 per cent lower at $1.30.
The Independence Group (ASX:IGO) who holds 70 per cent of the Lake Mackay Project with Prodigy Gold (ASX:PRX) holding 30 per cent, have seen more copper and cobalt intersected there and a promising new prospect identified.The Independent Group is currently completing an RC drilling program designed to test bedrock conductors over the 63 targets. The JV partners consider that exploration has the potential to unlock a new metallogenic province hosting multiple styles of precious and base metal mineralisation. The Lake Mackay Project is 400 kilometres northwest of Alice Springs. Shares in The Independence Group (ASX:IGO) are 3.1 per cent higher at $5.16.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Consumer Staples, adding 1.02 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 0.5 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Elders (ASX:ELD), rising 15.1 per cent to $6.97, followed by shares in Austal (ASX:ASB) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), dropping 6.9 per cent to $14.46, followed by shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Estia Health (ASX:EHE).
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.01 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,407 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.6 per cent to US$122.15
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.20 US cents.