Construction at lowest level in 6 years: ASX tracking 0.2% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market has been dropped heading towards noon and is now tracking 0.2 per cent higher. Shares in Suncorp (ASX:SUN) are up over 4 per cent after they released their yearly results showing annual profit fell 83.5 per cent from a year ago to $175 million. Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) are also up as are Regis Resources (ASX:RRL). And a new report out today shows Australian construction has dropped to its lowest level in six years. The Consumer Discretionary sector is leading the way and the Energy sector trailing behind.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 14 points up at 6,492. On the futures market the SPI is 0.3 per cent higher.

Local economic news

The headline Performance of Construction Index from AiG fell 3.9 points to 39.1 in July, its lowest level in six years. New orders also declined with continued job losses.

Meanwhile, new mortgage lending rose by 1.9 per cent to $16.82 billion in June, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the ABS today.

Company news

Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) sent a press release to the ASX this morning addressing media speculation about the renewal of the Malaysian operating licence. They say they will continue to update the market as there are developments with the Malaysian government. The government continues to work through due process and has indicated that an announcement is expected in mid-August. Shares in Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) are trading 2.9 per cent higher at $2.82.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, adding 0.6 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 Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), rising 8.2 per cent to $2.05, followed by shares in Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) and Suncorp (ASX:SUN).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Worley Parsons (ASX:WOR), dropping 2.2 per cent to $13.95, followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Cooper Energy (ASX:COE).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,485 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 3 per cent to US$97.55
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.62 US cents.

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