Banks are back: Aus shares 0.9% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

Following positive leads from US markets, the Australian share market opened in the black and has since gained momentum throughout the session and is now tracking 0.9 per cent higher at noon. The big banks are once again leading the charge, with all four gaining between 1 and 1.5 per cent. BHP has now risen above the $20 mark as commodities make a comeback and is tracking around 2.2 per cent higher.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 48 points up at 5,385. On the futures market the SPI is up 44 points.

Company news

Vicinity Centres Limited (ASX:VCX) has advised that it has acquired the remaining 50 per cent interest in Bentons Square located in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne. In August 2014, Vicinity agreed to acquire 50 per cent of the asset from a private investor for $38.25 million and entered into an option to acquire the remaining 50 per cent interest in July 2016 at the same price, which has now been exercised. Shares in Vicinity Centres are trading up 0.29 per cent at $3.51.

Prospect Resources Limited (ASX:PSC) says its third and fourth drill holes at its Arcadia High Grade Lithium Project in Zimbabwe has intercepted 17 metres and 24 metres of visible spodumene and petalite bearing pegmatites. The company says drilling results are in line with expectations from historical data. PSC also says a second diamond drill rig has arrived on site and is now in operation. Shares in Prospect Resources are trading up 13.21 per cent at $0.06.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 1.5 per cent to 8,790. Shares in South32 have risen 4.86 per cent and trading at $1.94. Shares in Sandfire Resources and Fortescue Metals are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 0.2 per cent to 8,315. Shares in Santos have fallen 1.46 per cent, trading at $4.74. Shares in Oil Search is lower and Beach Energy is higher.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,356 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7571.


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