The Australian share market is trending higher at noon as promising GDP data comes in well above expectations.
The S&P/ASX 200 index has risen 9 points and is 4,052. On the futures market the SPI is 2 points higher.
GDP unexpectedly grew 1.3 per cent in the March quarter, seasonally adjusted according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The growth was driven by final consumption expenditure and business investment. The industries that drove growth were mining, professional, scientific and technical services and financial and insurance services.
AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGK) has completed the initial issue of fully paid ordinary shares following the entitlement offer announced on the 24th of May. AGL has raised $356 million, issuing 31 million new shares under the institutional component of the entitlement offer. The retail offer will close on Tuesday June 19. AGL shares have lost 0.6 per cent and are trading at $15.02.
Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) has announced all conditions for the sale of 10 per cent of its interest in the Maules Creek joint venture to J-Power have been satisfied. A completion date of June 19th has now been confirmed. In October Aston Resources, now a wholly-owned subsidiary, announced a conditional agreement for the sale for $370 million. Whitehaven says the deal is significant as it will provide a substantial portion of the funding for the development of the project. Whitehaven Coal shares have risen 5.67 per cent and are trading at $4.10.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trusts gaining 15 points to 868. Shares in Westfield Group (ASX:WDC) have risen 3.08 per cent and trading at $9.38. Shares in Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) and Stockland (ASX:SGP) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Financials Excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts, falling 21 points to 4,501. Shares in Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) have fallen 1.65 per cent, trading at $20.25. Shares in National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) and Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX:BOQ) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,626 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying 98.49 US cents.