Following positive leads from US markets on Friday, the Australian share market jumped at the open and is now tracking 0.57% higher at noon. The staples space is doing the bulk of the heavy lifting this session, with supermarket giant Woolworths surging close to 6 per cent. The healthcare space is also extending on last week’s rally with the likes of Sirtex and CSL both gaining around 1 per cent. The materials and energy sectors are leading the losses after commodity prices took a fall overnight.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 31 points up at 5,530. On the futures market the SPI is 20 points higher.
Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) has expanded its lithium holdings throughout Western Australia with the acquisition of additional acreage in the prospective Gasgoyne region. The three new prospects have been acquired by the 100 per cent takeover of private company Lithophile. The prospects are all located within a recognised area of high lithium potential in the Gasgoyne Complex located 750 kilometres north of Perth. Shares in Lithium Australia are trading up 2 per cent at $0.26.
LWP Technologies Limited (ASX:LWP) has entered into a $6 million placement agreement with Landstead Capital LP. Pursuant to the placement the UK based specialist investment firm will take up 1.2 billion shares at $0.005 cents per share. The company says it will use the funds to advance the commercialisation of its unique energy technologies. Shares in LWP Technologies are trading down 20 per cent at $0.004.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Staples, gaining 2.11 per cent to 8,792. Shares in Woolworths have risen 5.88 per cent and trading at $23.77. Shares in Blackmores and Coca-Cola are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 0.2 per cent to 8,496. Shares in Independence Group have fallen 4.46 per cent, trading at $4.07. Shares in Western Areas and Sims Metals Management are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,319 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7468.