Following strong leads this morning, the Australian share market opened higher, and is now tracking 0.1 per cent up at noon. While is was a confident start to Tuesday after a downbeat day on Monday, the morning surge has tempered, with the bourse now hovering around the 5950 mark.
Graincorp (ASX:GNC) has been one of the poorer performing stocks this morning, down around 5 per cent. Despite solid profits, investors are clearly nervous about the company’s outlook, with an ASX release earlier this morning pointing towards smaller expected crop size and rising energy costs.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 5 points up at 5950 or 0.1 per cent. On the futures market the SPI is up 2 points higher
The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index has been released, showing a 1.4 per cent rise. Last week’s ‘Yes’ vote on marriage equality is largely thought to have contributed to the jump in positive sentiment.
Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX:SPL) has announced its new drug application in the US for VivaGel® BV has been lodged with the FDA through a rolling submission process. VivaGel® BV is a patented, water-based vaginal gel for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, and is protected by patents in the US and elsewhere with coverage until 2032. The application has been granted Fast Track status which ensures priority review by the FDA. Shares in Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX:SPL) are trading up 1.57 per cent at $1.45.
Kathmandu Holdings Limited (ASX:KMD) has released its first quarter financial results ahead of its upcoming AGM. The outdoor clothing retailer has posted an improvement in its first quarter earnings, compared to last year. Total sales are up 0.6 per cent, while same store sales in Australia grew by 2.9 per cent. However sales in New Zealand, Kathmandu’s home country, fell by 10.3 per cent. CEO Xavier Simonet indicated the company expects first half profit to be above last year, noting the result will be dependent on the significant Christmas trading period. Shares in Kathmandu Holdings Limited (ASX:KMD) are trading down 2.15 per cent at $2.28
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 0.5 per cent to 10,916. Shares in Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) have risen 2.05 per cent and trading at $5.98. Shares in St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM) and OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Health Care, falling 0.1 per cent to 24,396. Shares in Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited (ASX:FPH) have fallen 5.17 per cent, trading at $11.73. Shares in Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX:SHL) and Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,280 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying US75.47 cents.