Despite lacklustre leads from US markets, the Australian share market opened sharply higher and is continuing on its winning streak tracking 0.22 per cent higher at noon. The financials space is leading the charge today with all of the big four banks in the black. This however is being offset by losses in the materials space, with the big miners BHP and Rio Tinto both shedding around 1.2 per cent. However the gold miners are bucking the trend and are tracking higher after a bounce in the price of the precious metal overnight.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 13 points higher at 5,402. On the futures market the SPI is up 7 points.
Primary Health Care Limited (ASX:PRY) has been awarded a contract for the provision of diagnostic imaging services at the Northern Beaches Hospital in French’s Forrest by Healthscope. Northern Beaches Hospital which is set to open in 2018, is a state of the art facility which will have 488 beds. Healthscope will enter into a long-term partnership with the NSW government and will provide public and private patient services at the hospital. Shares in Primary Health Care are trading down 2.58 per cent at $3.77.
Alexium International Limited (ASX:AJX) has announced that a new agreement was reached today with a textile finisher and major supplier of tents internationally for a production order of Alexium’s flame retardant chemistry. Purchase orders have already been received and the expected life cycle for production is 7 years with ongoing monthly revenue of at least $150,000. Shares in Alexium International are trading up 3.62 per cent at $0.71.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Healthcare, gaining 1.3 per cent to 21,673. Shares in Japara Healthcare have risen 2.79 per cent and trading at $2.58. Shares in Sigma Pharmaceuticals and API are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 1.4 per cent to 8,793. Shares in Incitec Pivot have fallen 7.67 per cent, trading at $2.89. Shares in Western Areas and Fortescue are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,342 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7629.