ASX down 0.15% at lunchtime as it falls to a 5-month low

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

ASX is 0.15 per cent lower at noon, weighed down by Energy and Real Estate stocks. On the other end, Financials is the biggest winner, as the majority of the big banks are all trading higher.

Health insurer NIB Holdings is the weakest performer on the benchmark index due to its underperforming profit report, failing to meet expectations. On the other hand, both BlueScope and a2 Milk saw significant declines after releasing their earnings reports. Meanwhile, Ampol's shares rose by 2.6 per cent as the company declared a record dividend. The Lottery Corp is also up by 2.6 per cent in anticipation of an eagerly awaited result, scheduled for Thursday.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 9 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Financials, up 0.50 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 0.88 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE), trading 2.15 per cent higher at $14.70. It is followed by shares in The Lottery Corporation (ASX:TLC) and Ampol (ASX:ALD).

The worst-performing large cap is BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL), trading 11.55 per cent lower at $17.53. It is followed by shares in The a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).

Asian markets

Asia-Pacific markets were mostly lower on Monday, as investors look ahead to crucial economic data later in the week. Minutes for the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is slated to be released Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 saw a 0.19 per cent drop as it opened on Monday, with the Topix also falling fractionally. In South Korea, the Kospi opened 0.33 per cent lower, while the Kosdaq gained marginally.

Company news

BluGlass (ASX:BLG) has secured their first customer orders for commercial lasers from two customers. In response, BluGlass President Jim Haden said, “Our newly launched GaN lasers were incredibly well received at , reaffirming the need for a dedicated provider to address unmet market needs across several verticals.” We also spoke to Mr. Haden regarding the announcement this morning. Keep an eye out on our website for an interview with Jim Haden, it will be on the website tomorrow. Shares are trading 29.6 per cent higher at 7 cents at noon.

Tempus Resources (ASX:TMR) has announced more 'Bonanza' high-grade gold from their Elizabeth gold project. In response, Tempus Resources, President and CEO, Jason Bahnsen, commented “The final drilling results provide further evidence of the extension of the high-grade gold zone associated with the No. 9 Vein to over 250 metres and the Blue Vein to over 285 metres.” Shares are trading 10.9 per cent higher at 6.1 cents at noon.

King River Resources Ltd (ASX:KRR) announced that it has signed a binding term sheet with ASX listed resources company Tivan Limited (ASX:TVN) by which Tivan will acquire 100 per cent of King River’s Speewah Vanadium-Titanium-Iron Project. The total consideration is A$20 million, comprising the issue of 100 million Tivan shares at a deemed issue price of A$0.10 per share, and A$10 million in cash to be paid by way of three staged payments over 12 months. Shares are trading 8.33 per cent higher at 1.3 cents at noon.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1782.70 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.0 per cent higher at US$127.30 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.16 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.69 US cents.

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