The Australian share market opened lower rebelling against positive leads from the US and is now tracking 0.04 per cent lower at noon. It’s been a see-saw start to the session with Communications leading the way and Financials experiencing the largest losses.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 3 points down at 6,682. On the futures market the SPI is 9 points higher.
Local economic news
The Australian housing market recovered faster than expected in December with the national index rising 1.7 per cent and beating the expected 1 per cent rise. This was the 5th consecutive monthly rise and the largest month on month gain since 2003. This also brought national dwelling values into positive annual growth territory for 2019.
Organic baby formula company, Wattle Health Australia (ASX:WHA) has raised over 11.6 million from existing shareholders. The company launched a 4 for 5 non-renounceable rights issue at $0.40 per share to fund the initial payment to acquire nutritional dairy manufacturer, Blend and Pack. The Company was unable to secure the full amount of $55 million funding, required as the minimum offer amount under the prospectus, and its underwriting agreement for $20 million with Claymore Capital has lapsed. The company says that “whilst it was a very disappointing outcome for WHA, the Company and Mason Financial Holdings have agreed to extend the Sunset Date of the proposed transaction to acquire 75 per cent of Blend and Pack pursuant to the Share Purchase Agreement”. All this, as Wattle Health (ASX:WHA) undertakes a major operational restructure. Shares in Wattle Health Australia (ASX:WHA) last traded at 47 cents.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Telecommunications, adding 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Financials, shedding 0.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), rising 8 per cent to 30 cents, followed by shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Afterpay (ASX:APT).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Polynovo (ASX:PNV),dropping 4.1 per cent to $1.89, followed by shares in Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,520 an ounce.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.19 US cents.