It has been a solid start to the trading day for the Australian share market, following a stellar lead from US markets on the back of positive earnings results. The local bourse jumped at the open and has managed to maintain that momentum in the first two hours of trade tracking 0.6 per cent higher at noon. Utilities are leading the charge this session, followed by the materials space. These gains however are being slightly offset by losses in Consumer Staples and Telcos.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 34 points up at 5,856. On the futures market the SPI is 37 points higher.
Japan’s Nikkei is up 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is up 0.2 per cent.
Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) says an award has now been made in the confidential arbitration between Woolworths and Lowe’s in relation to their home improvement joint venture. Consequently, Lowe’s now must sell its shares in the joint venture company Hydrox Holdings. Woolworths will now be able to conclude the proposed transaction with Home Consortium without the consent of Lowe’s. Shares in Woolworths are trading up 0.08 per cent at $26.30.
Sky and Space Global Limited (ASX:SAS) has successfully integrated its first three nano satellites into the launch pod of European launch broker, Innovation Space Logistics BV in The Netherlands. The three nano satellites will be transported to the Indian Space Research Organisation for the upcoming space launch which is scheduled for late May. The company says its the first to use nano satellites to build a proprietary communications network in the equatorial belt. Shares in Sky and Space Global are trading up 6.82 per cent at $0.24.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Utilities, gaining 2 per cent to 8,913. Shares in Duet Group (ASX:DUE) have risen 9.45 per cent and trading at $3.01. Shares in AusNet Services (ASX:AST) and AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Staples, falling 0.72 per cent to 9,427. Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) have fallen 9.17 per cent, trading at $9.76. Shares in Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) and Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) are also lower.
TinyBeans Group Limited (ASX:TNY) started trading today. The social media platform provider floated with an issue price of $1.00, opened at $1.20 and is currently trading at $0.95.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,281 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.7531.