ASX down 0.98% at noon, Coles and Woolworths fall after ACCC comments

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Australian equity markets opened weaker taking their lead from Europe after news of soft GDP numbers from Germany overnight.

In Australia, Consumer Staples sector dragged lower by supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths. The weakness comes after the ACCC, Australia’s competition regulator, said it was considering suing a big supermarket chain for breaching consumer law. Woolworths (ASX:WOW) is down 1.3 per cent to $35.74 and Coles (ASX:COL) is down 1.65 per cent to $15.53.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.98 per cent lower at 7422.50.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 62 points.

Best and worst performers
All sectors are in the red. The sector with the fewest losses is Communication Services, down 0.41 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Utilities, down 1.43 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN), trading 2.13 per cent higher at $5.28. It is followed by shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) and Brambles (ASX:BXB).

The worst-performing large cap is Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW), trading 4.61 per cent lower at $35.16. It is followed by shares in Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) and Domino's Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP).

Company News

FireFly Metals (ASX:FFM) has announced very strong high-grade copper and gold assays from its first drilling program at the Green Bay project in Canada.
The results also extend the known VMS mineralisation by 350m, taking it well beyond the boundary of the current resource. A second diamond drill rig has arrived at site and will immediately commence resource extension drilling. FireFly Managing Director Steve Parsons said: “These assays strongly support our view that Green Bay is an exceptional asset with huge growth potential… we are set to accelerate our resource growth strategy with the start of underground drilling and a second diamond rig has arrived on site”. Shares are trading 3.57 per cent higher at 58 cents.

Olympio Metals Limited (ASX:OLY) announced assays from the first phase of aircore drilling on the Walloway Prospect in South Australia have confirmed REE and Niobium mineralisation.
Olympio’s Managing Director, Sean Delaney, commented: “The results of this first pass shallow aircore drilling program at the Walloway Prospect have been a great success with TREO grades up to 5,011ppm in the drilling….We have only just scratched the surface with the shallow aircore drilling to date and look forward to testing these REE targets at depth.” Shares are trading flat at 10 cents.

Metals Australia Ltd (ASX:MLS) has announced that it has received exceptionally high-grade assay results of 64.3 per cent graphitic carbon (Cg) from its Lac Rainy Graphite Project in Quebec, Canada. Metals Australia Chairman Mike Scivolo commented: “The latest….result further reinforces our belief that our Lac Rainy Graphite Project has the potential to be a globally significant, Tier-1 flake-graphite resource. This is further supported by the fact that the existing high-grade resource we have defined to date is from drilling over just 1km of the over 36km of graphitic trends now identified on the project” Shares are trading 5.88 per cent higher at 3.6 cents.

Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$2057.90 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.7 per cent lower at US$128.95 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.5 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.43 US cents.

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