Local shares weak ahead of US Fed meeting

Prashant Mehra
(Australian Associated Press)

The share market is weaker as investors remain nervous over North Korea and ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s latest statement on its monetary policy stance.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 0.3 per cent at 1200 AEST, with most sectors, other than healthcare, in negative territory.

The heavyweight mining and energy shares, and the major banks, were the main weights on the index.

BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals were all trading around one per cent lower, while energy stocks including Woodside, Oil Search and Santos were also down more than one per cent.

Each of the big four banks were down by between 0.5 per cent and one per cent.

Shares in Seven Group Holdings were up more than eight per cent to $12.10 after the company announced it will buy the remaining stake in equipment hire company Coates Hire for $517 million.

CSL was another strong performer, up 1.8 per cent at $133.325, and Ansell was 1.1 per cent higher at $22.105.

The Australian dollar is back above 80 US cents as the US dollar weakened overnight against a range of major currencies.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 15.6 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 5,698 points at 1200 AEST.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 14.7 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 5,757.7 points.

* The SPI200 futures contract was down 18 points, or 0.32 per cent, at 5,696 points.

* National turnover was 1.7 billion securities traded worth $1.75 billion.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 80.17 US cents, from 79.81 US cents on Tuesday

* 89.38 Japanese yen, from 89.16 yen

* 66.74 euro cents, from 66.54 euro cents

* 59.26 British pence, from 58.99 pence

* 109.40 NZ cents, from 109.67 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1200 AEST was $US1,311.82 per fine ounce, from $US1,307.60 per fine ounce on Tuesday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0854pct, from 2.0678pct on Monday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.7834pct, from 2.7638pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* December 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.135 (implying a yield of 2.850pct), from 97.155 (2.845pct) on Tuesday

* December 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.76 (2.24pct), from 97.79 (2.21pct).

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


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