The Australian share market is making modest gains today of about 0.3 per cent. We had good leads to follow after Wall Street closed higher, and we were set to hit the 6,000 mark, but investors are now sitting on the fence awaiting China’s trade data that’s due to come later.
Over three quarters of the market is in positive territory with Telcos in the lead, almost neck on neck with the Energy sector after the oil price recovered. Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) is about 3.6 per cent higher, while Telco play Vocus (ASX:VOC) is not that far behind.
The only sectors in the red are Telcos and Materials. With the likes of St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) falling over 2 per cent.
Also holding back buying today on the ASX is the Bitcoin rally, with investors increasing buying the crypto-currency, which has taken it to the US$18,000 mark, shaking off fears of a bubble.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 14.8 points or 0.28 per cent higher to 5,993.
On the futures market the SPI is 10 points higher.
Company news now
Australia’s largest insurance broking network, Steadfast, (ASX:SDF) has completed the purchase of Whitbread Insurance Group, which is a business and strata insurance specialist. At the same time it also announced it issued 2.1 million shares to Whitbread Insurance Group as consideration. Shares in Steadfast (ASX:SDF) are trading 2.99 per cent lower to $2.92.
And the Australian-based regenerative medicine firm, Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) (NASDAQ:MESO) has been named as the 2017 Global Technology Leader in the cell therapy industry. It was given the accolade by Frost and Sullivan. The company expects to report results from its phase 3 trial in pediatric acute graft versus host disease in the first quarter of 2018. Shares in Mesoblast are trading 1.13 per cent higher to $1.34.
Credible Labs Inc (ASX:CRD) started trading today. The online platform that allows borrowers to receive loan offers from lenders floated with an issue price of $1.21, opened at $1.60 and is currently trading at $1.40.
Best and worst performers
the best performing sector is telcos, 0.89 per cent higher to 1,319. shares in Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) have gained 3.36 per cent to $2.93. Shares in Spark New Zealand (ASX:SPK) and Telstra Corporation (ASX:TLS) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Staples, 0.23 per cent lower to 10,130. Shares in Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY) have fallen 1.58 per cent lower to $1.56. Shares in Metcash (ASX:MTS) and Blackmores (ASX:BKL) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,248 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 75.07 US cents.