At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.09 per cent lower at 7,250.50. While the financial sector is weak, gains in the mining and industrial sectors are offsetting the decline.
Important events and data releases in the upcoming week include the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s May minutes on Tuesday, wage price data on Wednesday, and jobless numbers on Thursday.
Wall Street stocks experienced a decline on Friday due to the postponement of talks between US President Joe Biden and Republican congressional leaders earlier this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by less than 0.1 per cent, the S&P 500 decreased by 0.2 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index, which focuses on technology stocks, declined by 0.4 per cent.
The Australian dollar is currently trading around US66.52c.
Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) has reached a deal with Newmont (ASX:NEM) for a US$17.8 billion takeover, offering 0.4 of a Newmont share and up to US$1.10 in a special franked dividend, with Newcrest’s board unanimously recommending shareholders to vote in favour of the transaction and approval from Australian foreign investment still pending.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 8 points.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Energy, up 0.54 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Financials, down 0.90 per cent.
The best-performing large cap is Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), trading 3.04 per cent higher at $3.895. It is followed by shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company (ASX:SOL).
The worst-performing large cap is REA Group (ASX:REA), trading 2.52 per cent lower at $135.55. It is followed by shares in Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX).
Asia-Pacific markets are trading mixed after two out of three major US indexes recorded a second straight week of losses, fuelled by concern over the US debt ceiling and disappointing economic data.
Thailand’s currency strengthened against the greenback as the country’s opposition party was on course to secure a win in its general election, ending nearly a decade of conservative ruled backed by the military. Investors will also digest Thailand’s gross domestic product for the first quarter of the year.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.4 per cent, with the Topix also 0.47 per cent higher on Monday.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.55 per cent, while mainland Chinese markets were mixed. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.36 per cent and the Shenzhen Component traded close to the flatline.
Vintage Energy (ASX:VEN) announces the securing of the first gas supply contract for the Odin gas field located in the Cooper Basin. Vintage Managing Director, Neil Gibbins, said “This agreement expands our production and revenue generating footprint and provides an attractive commercial footing.” Shares are trading 10.9 per cent higher at 7.1 cents.
Wia Gold (ASX:WIA) has announced a maiden mineral resource estimate at Kokoseb of 1.3 million ounces of gold, with significant scope for expansion. Wia’s Chairman, Andrew Pardey, commented, “This resource estimate was delivered only 11 months after the discovery holes and at an outstanding discovery cost of US$2 per ounce.” Shares are trading 19.2 per cent higher at 3.1 cents.
Westar Resources (ASX:WSR) announced that their maiden RC program intersects multiple thick pegmatites at Olga Rocks lithium-gold project in WA. Executive Director Lindsay Franker commented: “Following from the success of the maiden RC drilling program, Westar is planning the next phase of drilling, targeting along strike and down dip extensions.” Shares are trading 115 per cent higher at 7.3 cents.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$2022.10 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.2 per cent higher at US$103.05 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 2.22 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.64 US cents.