Leading Index growth rate deteriorates: ASX tracking 0.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market rose up at the open only to drop in the last few hours of trade. It's now tracking 0.1 per cent lower at noon. Tech stocks were higher at the open and are still leading the sectors. Nearmap (ASX:NEA) Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS) and WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) are all up. As are Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Invocare (ASX:IVC). Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) and GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD) are not performing so well.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 8 points down at 6,688. On the futures market the SPI is 5 points lower or 0.1 per cent lower.

Local economic news

The six month annualised growth rate in the Westpac– Melbourne Institute Leading Index, fell from +0.01 per cent in July to –0.35 per cent in August. The major contributors to the sharp fall came from substantial drags from the share market, commodity prices and dwelling approvals.

Company news

Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) today announced that it has sold its 20 per cent stake in Pacific Square, Maroubra and Bass Hill Plaza to Charter Hall Retail REIT (ASX:CQR). The Group agreed to sell its stake following an approach by CQR. They continue to maintain exposure to these assets via its co-investment in CQR. Charter Hall Group waived all fees associated with this transaction. Proceeds from the sale will be reinvested across the platform to support other existing and new fund initiatives. Shares in Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) are trading 0.8 per cent lower at $11.46.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Infotech, adding 1.8 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 1.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pro Medicus (ASX:PME), rising 5.1 per cent to $29.72, followed by shares in Invocare (ASX:IVC) and Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), dropping 2.7 per cent to $32.46, followed by shares in GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD) and The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.01 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,503 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 1.3 per cent to US$97.17
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.52 US cents.