Trade balance misses surplus expectations: ASX tracking 2.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market dropped at the open and is now 2.1 per cent lower at noon. The four big banks all dropped. Agribusiness Webster (ASX:WBA) shares shot up today after news they have been approached by Canadian pension fund PNP Investments with a takeover bid worth $854 million. Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) shares saw a drop after a boost yesterday after signing a deal in the US to sell a new contraceptive drug in the States. The Utilities sector is leading the way and the Energy sector trailing behind.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 140 points down at 6,500. On the futures market the SPI is 139 points lower.

Local economic news

In trend terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $6.9 billion in August, an increase of $73 million on the surplus in July 2019. In seasonally adjusted terms, the surplus was $5.9 billion, a decrease of $1.3 billion on the surplus in July this year.

Company news

Agrimin (ASX:AMN) has awarded Kerman Contracting the engineering design contract for the Wyndham Port Facility, which is a key part of the Mackay Potash Project in Western Australia. This follows the recent selection of a suitable site at Wyndham Port to accommodate its proposed Facility. Kerman specialises in non-process infrastructure, processing plants, industrial facilities and accommodation villages. Shares in Agrimin (ASX:AMN) are trading 5.7 per cent higher at $0.56.

And Panoramic Resources (ASX:PAN) have agreed to delay the signing of the definitive agreement for a further 30 days for the sale of shares in the Thunder Bay North Project to Benton Resources. Thunder Bay North is based in Northern Ontario in Canada. Shares in Panoramic Resources (ASX:PAN) are trading1.6 per cent lower at $0.30

Best and worst performers

All the sectors are in the red – the sector with the fewest losses is Utilities, losing 1.4 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 3.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR), rising 5.4 per cent to $3.63, followed by shares in Northern Star (ASX:NST) and Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX),dropping 5.2 per cent to $0.60, followed by shares in Nearmap (ASX:NEA) and Ooh!Media (ASX:OML).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 2.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is still closed.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,502 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.14 US cents.