Lithium miners lead the charge: Aus shares 0.2% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market bounced up at the open after Wall Street hit fresh record highs, with the local bourse maintaining momentum in first two hours of trade, now tracking 0.2 per cent higher at noon.

The miners and resource players are leading half of the major sectors higher. But its the lithium players that are taking the cake with Galaxy Resource (ASX:GXY) up 6.5 per cent, Orocobre (ASX:ORE) up about 5 per cent, Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) up over 4 per cent.

The sector that is holding back the broader market is staples, with Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) shares falling about 1.7 per cent, while salmon farmer Tassal (ASX:TGR) is down also over 1 per cent, while giants like Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) and Woolworths (ASX:WOW) are also lower.

Meantime, Virgin Australia (ASX:VAH) is also seeing a lot of selling today, falling over 3.7 per cent at one point today, just a day after Etihad bought almost 21 per cent in the airliner.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 10 points up or 0.2 per cent higher at 6,078. On the futures market the SPI is 16 points higher.

Company news 

Qantas (ASX:QAN) advised foreign ownership of its shares has fallen to about 44 per cent [43.6 per cent] from about 47 per cent [47.62 per cent] from the beginning of December to December close. Under its constitution, foreigners are not allowed to hold any more than 49 per cent of Qantas’ issued shares. Shares in Qantas are trading 2.7 per cent higher at $5.02

Canadian and Australian gold producer, Kirkland Lake Gold (ASX:KLA) has reported record full year production at all operating mines and record Q4 2017 production at three of its mines. The group’s consolidated full 2017 year production also beat its guidance of 580,000-595,000 ounces after it produced over 596,000 [596,405] ounces of gold. It also reported growth in mineral reserves and improved balance sheet growth with cash rising to $230 million (at 31 December 2017). Its shares last traded on 10 January 2018 at $23.10.

And Western Australian lithium company, Tawana Resources (ASX:TAW) and its partner, Alliance Mineral Assets announced they are on track to start lithium concentration production this quarter. It comes as development and construction of the Bald Hill lithium and tantalum mine in the Eastern Goldfields of WA is on track. Shares in Tawana Resources are trading about 3.5 per cent higher $0.52

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials adding 1.3 per cent to 11,978 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY), rising 6.5 per cent to $4.24. Shares in Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) and Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) are following, as the second and third best performers.

The worst performing sector was Staples, shedding 0.7 per cent to 10,020 points.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ), dropping 3.9 per cent to $0.73. Shares in Incitec Pivot Limited (ASX:IPL) and Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX:SRX) also following as the second and third worst performers so far this session.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,324 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.79 US cents.


Three most traded are all in the red. 

Bitcoin has fallen 11 per cent in the last 24 hours to $13,161
Ethereum fallen about 13 per cent to $1,122
And Litecoin has shed about 3.9 per cent to $226

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica is a senior finance journalist and presents bulletins including the Market Outlook, Market at Midday and Market Wrap. She also interviews ASX CEOs and leading fund managers. She joined FNN in January 2017 with over six years of broadcast journalism experience including with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She’s also worked as a TV reporter for Prime 7 and WIN News. Jessica has worked in financial planning for over six years with leading wealth managers and in real estate.