The Australian share market dropped at the open following falls from Wall Street. It is now tracking 1.5 per cent lower at noon. Austal (ASX:ASB) and Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares took around a 5 per cent dip today. Meanwhile, shares in oOh!Media (ASX:OML) shot up after they upgraded their FY19 Earnings Guidance yesterday. The best-performing sector is Real estate Investment Trust, while the worst performing sector is Materials.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 100 points down at 6,613. On the futures market the SPI is 87 points lower.
The Australian economy grew 0.4 per cent in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms in the September quarter 2019 and 1.7 per cent through the year, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.
The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Services Index fell by 1.5 points to 53.7 in November, marking a fourth month of positive conditions as the retail & hospitality sector demonstrated robust growth on the back of sales events in the lead-up to Christmas.
Following changes to modelling, Citi upgrades Santos (ASX:STO) to a Buy from a Neutral and raises the target to $8.90 from $8.47. The broker assesses that towards 2025 production is expected to grow more than 50 per cent. Santos is the only large cap stock with the balance sheet to comfortably execute on growth expenditure. Shares in Santos (ASX:STO) are currently 2.3 per cent lower at $7.87.
Village Roadshow (ASX:VRL) today Director Tim Antonie will retire and be replaced by Anna Duran as an Independent NonExecutive Director. He joined the board in 2010 and served as Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and as Lead Independent Director since 2017. Anna Duran most recently worked as Principal Litigation Lawyer and Team Leader conducting litigation on behalf of a Commonwealth agency. She has previously worked at the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions and at commercial law firms. The company continues to search for an Independent Non-Executive Chair, which is expected to be concluded in the first quarter of 2020. Shares in Village Roadshow (ASX:VRL) are 0.8 per cent lower at $3.10.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Real estate Investment Trust losing the least at 0.8 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Materials, shedding 1.8 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ooh!Media (ASX:OML) rising 20.9 per cent to $3.64, followed by shares in Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) and Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Austal (ASX:ASB), dropping 6 per cent to $3.85, followed by shares in Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) and Monadelphous (ASX:MND).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,477 an ounce.
Iron ore price lost 0.2 per cent to US$88.31
Iron ore futures are pointing to a lift of 1.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.33 US cents.