It has been a positive start to the trading week for the Australian share market this morning, following a strong close from Wall Street on Friday. The local bourse bounced at the open and has gathered momentum in the first two hours of trade, tracking 0.79 per cent higher at noon. While it’s a sea of green across most sectors, Materials is leading the charge, thanks to a bounce in commodity prices. Not such a good start for the Utilities space which is leading the losses, followed by Discretionaries and Staples.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 46 points up at 5,767. On the futures market the SPI is 48 points higher.
Checking in with how Asian markets are tracking now, Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.58 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.45 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.
Creso Pharma Limited (ASX:CPH) says it has signed an agreement with global pharmaceutical and animal health company Virbac, to launch its hemp-based animal health products. From September, Virbac will be the exclusive distributor of Creso Pharma’s animal health products in Switzerland and Lichtenstein with rights to sell and distribute the products under Creso’s trademark. Shares in Creso Pharma are trading up 3.09 per cent at $0.50.
Novogen Limited (ASX:NRT) has provided a progress update on Cantrixil; its therapy for the treatment of ovarian cancer. The biotech company says it commenced its Phase 1 trial in December on women and now five hospitals around Australia and the US are involved in the study. Based on current study progress, Novogen expects data will be available later in calendar 2018. Shares in Novogen are trading up 14.29 per cent at $0.05.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 1.46 per cent to 10,276. Shares in Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) have risen 5.62 per cent and trading at $14.10. Shares in Sims Metal Management (ASX:SGM) and Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Utilities, falling 0.29 per cent to 8,455. Shares in APA Group (ASX:APA) have fallen 1.08 per cent, trading at $8.69. Shares in Ausnet (ASX:AST) are lower and AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) are higher.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,259 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7943.