Lithium miners lead claw back: Aus shares 1.1% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market clawed back some yesterday’s losses recouping some of yesterday’s 3.2 per cent fall, which took the market back where it was mid-October. At the open the market rose 1.6 per cent but momentum slowed and at noon the S&P/ASX 200 index is 1.1 per cent or 63 points higher at 5,897 points, while on the futures market the SPI is pointing to a 80 points rise. 

Lithium miners are leading the rebound with most areas of the market seeing gains. Going the other way are utilites, while we are are seeing selling in large companies like Carsales (ASX:CAR) which fell over 4 per cent, on the back of its results, while gold producers like St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) are trading lower.

CBA also reported its results, missing some analysts expectations and its shares are trading higher.

In local economic news

Construction activity rose more than expected in January, continuing its 12th straight month of growth. AIG’s Construction Index rose 1.5 points to a reading of 54.3 in January, outpacing last month’s growth and beating expectations it would lift to a reading of 54. Let’s remember readings above 50 indicate expansion in activity.

To company news now

Big Four Bank, Westpac (ASX:WBC) has announced the appointment of Peter Nash to its board with effect from today. Mr Nash was previously a senior partner with KPMG, national chairman of KPMG and also the chair of its global investment committee. And Westpac says he brings significant financial, accounting, risk management and business strategy expertise to the board. Westpac shares are trading 0.9 per cent higher at $30.61.

Lithium company, Orocobre (ASX:ORE) provided the market some pleasing results from drilling and the market liked what they heard and its shares are trading 4.1 per cent higher at $6.56.

Global renewable energy development company Windlab Limited (ASX:WND) has announced it’s received development approval from the Queensland Government for its Lakeland Windfarm in far North Queensland. Receiving approval for the farm is the most important milestone in the development process. The wind farm will generate sufficient power to supply more than 50,000 average Australian homes. Construction is due to commence late 2018. Its share are trading 4 per cent higher at $1.58.

IPO

ReadCloud (ASX:RCL) started trading today. The eLearning book provider for Australian secondary schools floated with an issue price of 20 cents, opened at 22.5 cents and its trading at 27 cents.

To the best and worst performers

The best performing sector is energy, up 1.6 per cent higher at 10,660 while the worst performing sector is utilites, shedding 0.6 per cent lower at 7,658.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN), rising 9.9 per cent to $18.52, followed by shares in Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY) and Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Evolution Mining Limited (ASX:EVO), dropping 4.6 per cent to $2.70, followed by shares in Carsales.Com Limited (ASX:CAR) and St Barbara Limited ASX:SBM).

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,328 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.95 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mostly higher.

Bitcoin is trading at $7,615, over the last 24 hours it gained 11. And it’s price is back where it was in November, and 60 per cent off its high of almost $20,000
Ethereum gained about 13 per cent to $7775
And Tether added about 1 per cent to $1.00

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica is the head of news and 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.