Defying negative global leads: ASX up 0.98% at noon

Market Reports

by David Chau

The Australian share market has defied negative leads from global equity markets, and surged almost 1% this morning, and are back above the 5,800 points mark.

Leading the local market today is blue chips and financial stocks (particularly the big four banks).  Nearly every sector has posted gains, except Utilities, and Australia gold stocks have also posted losses today.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 57 points up at 5,803. On the futures market the SPI is 53 points higher.

Company news

Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL) has reached an in-principle agreement to sell its northern NSW TV assets and operations to the WIN Corporation for $55 million. Initially, both networks discussed selling WIN’s i98FM Wollongong radio station – but that is no longer part of the proposed transaction. Shares in Southern Cross are tracking 1.85% higher at $1.38

SmartTrans Holdings (ASX:SMA) has taken another step to expand its e-commerce operations in China. The company has signed a partnership agreement with leading Chinese e-commerce company, Wjike. The Chinese online retailer will add a new online specialist store to its website, which will sell Australian products, sourced from SmartTrans’ portfolio. Shares in SmartTrans are trading up 27.27 per cent at 1 cent.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Financials, gaining 1.5 per cent to 6,797. Shares in Bendigo Bank (ASX:BEN) have risen 2.89 per cent and trading at $11.75. Shares in Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) and Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Utilities, falling 0.2 per cent to 8,612. Shares in APA Group (ASX:APA) have fallen 0.56 per cent, trading at $8.92. Shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) and Spark Infrastructure (ASX:SKI) are also lower.

IPOs

Two new companies listed at the ASX today:

Visioneering Technologies (ASX:VTI) issued at 42 cents, opened at 45 cents, and are currently trading at 45 cents.

Lithium Consolidated Mineral Exploration (ASX:LI3) issued at 20 cents, opened at 22 cents, and are currently trading at 17.5 cents.


Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,254 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7632.