North Korea tensions spook share market

North Korea tensions spook share market

The Australian share market is trading lower at noon as the rising geopolitical tensions following North Korea’s latest nuclear test spook investors across the region.  The benchmark S&P/ASX200 stock index was down 0.39 per cent at 5,702.2 points, with all sectors other than materials, gold and telcos weaker.  Markets in Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong were also lower.   Investors are weighing the US response to the North Korea’s testing of a hydrogen bomb over the weekend.  The administration of US President Donald Trump has previously warned that the US will unleash a “massive military response” if North Korea threatens its territory or allies.


On the local bourse, energy stocks Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Oil Search were between 0.1 and 0.8 per cent lower.  In the materials sector, global miner BHP Billiton was up 0.3 per cent at $27.49, Rio Tinto was off 0.3 per cent at $68.08, and Fortescue Metals was down 0.8 per cent at $5.90.  Gold miners such as Newcrest, Regis Resources and Northern Sta were up by 0.9 per cent to 1.5 per cent.  In the banking sector, Westapc was steady at $31.34, ANZ eased 0.6 per cent to $29.42, and National Australia Bank gave away 0.03 per cent to $30.32.  Commonwealth Bank fell 1.1 per cent to $74.64.   The bank has has appointed NSW Treasury Corporation director Robert Whitfield to its board as it battles allegations of breaching anti-money laundering and terror funding laws.  Among other stocks, Ardent Leisure eased 1.55 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $1.935 after the embattled theme parks operator staved off a planned shareholder vote on Monday by inviting two rebel shareholders onto its board.

Medical and other protective gloves maker Ansell dipped 22 cents, or 1.01 per cent, to $21.49 as it has completed the $US600 million ($A754 million) sale of its sexual wellness business, other than the Brazilian condom operations, to a Chinese consortium.  Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is higher against the greenback ahead of key economic data later this week.  At 1200 AEST, the local currency was trading at 79.64 US cents, from 79.33 US cents on Friday.



* At 1200 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 22.4 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 5,702.2 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 21.5 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 5,764.6 points.

* The September SPI200 futures contract was down 19 points or 0.33 per cent at 5,682 points.

* National turnover was 2.2 billion securities traded worth $4.2 billion.



One Australian dollar buys:

* 79.64 US cents, from 79.33 on Friday

* 87.40 Japanese yen, from 87.41 yen

* 67.03 euro cents, from 66.74 euro cents

* 61.45 British pence, from 61.45 pence

* 111.08 NZ cents, from 110.87 cents



The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1200 AEST was $US1,333.12 per fine ounce, from $US1,318.38 per fine ounce on Friday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.8992pct, from 1.9166pct

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.5852pct, from 2.6083pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* August 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.365 (implying a yield of 2.635pct), from 97.34 (2.66 pct) on Friday

* August 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.02 (1.98pct), from 97.99 (2.01pct).

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)


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