Following weak leads the Australian share market opened cautiously higher ahead of the release of second quarter Chinese growth figures and jumped up to 0.6 per cent as investors cheered the better than feared figures.
The S&P/ASX 200 index has gained 28 points and is sitting at 4,096. On the futures market the SPI is currently 21 points higher.
Chinese economic news
China, the world’s second largest economy, has grown at a pace in line with expectations, albeit at the slowest rate in three years. China’s National Bureau of Statistics has today reported its economy grew at 7.6 per cent in the second quarter of this year compared to the year before, dropping from 8.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund (ASX:HDF) has backed a $1.23 billion takeover bid from Pipeline Partners Australia, consisting of $2.325 per security. The two companies have now inked a bid implementation deed and former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Grant Samuel will conduct an independent review of the offer. Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund is also currently being pursued by its 20.7 per cent shareholder pipeline operator APA Group (ASX:APA) with its $1.1 billion bid currently being assessed by the ACCC. Shares in Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund have firmed 0.21 per cent and are trading at $2.37.
Australian Infrastructure Fund Limited (ASX:AIX) says its airports experienced 1.3 per cent passenger growth in May compared to the year before. The growth was underpinned by 2.7 per cent more domestic passengers and offset by a 1.4 per cent fall in international passengers. The company says Perth was a highlight experiencing 9.4 per cent total passenger growth in May as travellers flocked to the mining state. Shares in Australian Infrastructure Fund are trading 1.22 per cent higher at $2.48.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trusts gaining 13 points to 891. Shares in Stockland (ASX:SGP) have risen 2.59 per cent and trading at $3.17. Shares in Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) and DEXUS Property Group (ASX:DXS) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Telco Services, falling 4 points to 1,314. Shares in M2 Telecommunications Group Limited (ASX:MTU) have fallen 1.57 per cent, trading at $3.13. Shares in Telecom Corp of New Zealand (ASX:TEL) and Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,568 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.015.