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Defying Wall Street: Aus shares track 0.21% higher
October 18, 2016 12:25 PM

The Australian share market has defied a weak lead from Wall Street, bouncing higher at the open and is now tracking up 0.21 per cent at lunchtime. The sector doing the bulk of the heavy lifting so far is the REITs, with gains in the likes of shopping centre giants Scentre Group and Westfield. Industrials are faring the worst today and other sectors such as materials and energy are painting a bit of a mixed picture.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 11 points up at 5,400. On the futures market the SPI is up 11 points.

Company news

Cochlear Limited (ASX:COH) says its FY17 guidance is an improvement on the previous year’s profit result. The hearing device manufacturer says net profit will be in the range of $210 to $225 million, an increase of 10 to 20 per cent on FY16. The company’s Chief Financial Officer Neville Mitchell will also retire at the end of the current financial year. Shares in Cochlear are trading up 0.09 per cent at $136.79.

Tabcorp Limited (ASX:TAH) along with Tatts Group (ASX:TTS) have both gone into trading halts pending the release of an announcement relating to a “potential change of control transaction”. Rumours have been swirling that the two companies are planning to merge to create a $9.34 billion industry giant. Tabcorp will remain in a trading halt until the earlier of this Thursday or when the announcement is released to the market.
Shares in Tabcorp last traded at $4.89.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is REITS, gaining 1.3 per cent to 1,357. Shares in Goodman Group have risen 1.84 per cent and trading at $6.92. Shares in Westfield and Scentre Group are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Industrials, falling 0.3 per cent to 5,113. Shares in Qube Holdings have fallen 2.4 per cent, trading at $2.23. Shares in GWA Group and Cleanaway Group are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,257 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7656.

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