Extending gains: Aus shares 0.3% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market popped at the open, extending yesterday’s gains but lost a bit of momentum on the back of weaker company results.

Capping gains this session are falls in Star Entertainment (ASX:SGR) which saw a 77 per cent dive in profits in the half year while South32 (ASX:S32) is also lower after it reported yesterday that its net profit fell 12 per cent in the half year. Also adding to the weight this session, a fall in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

Half of the sectors are making gains though, with health stocks seeing some of the biggest gains in the top 200, with Primary Health Care (ASX:PRY) seeing its profits and revenues rise 5 and 6 per cent respectively.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 17 points higher at 5,926 or 0.3 per cent per cent higher. On the futures market the SPI is 16 points up.

Company news 

Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) reported its first-half net profit rose by about 63 per cent to $257 million thanks to coal prices and higher output. Its earnings rose by over 40 per cent while its debt was dropped. It also declared it would pay an interim dividend of 13 cents per share. As for Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) shares they are trading lower by 4.40 per cent to $4.46.

Travel booking website Webjet.com.au (ASX:WEB) has launched its first working blockchain initiative in the hotel distribution industry. Its blockchain solution enables travel companies to reconcile accounts payable and receivable issues and out of pocket costs, which when left unreconciled cause a bit of pain. Its shares are 2.05 per cent lower at $9.54.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is S&P/ASX healthcare adding 1.37 per cent to 25,869 points while the worst performing sector is S&P/ASX Materials shedding 0.75 per cent to 11,709 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Breville Group (ASX:BRG), rising 6.43 per cent to $13.73, followed by shares in Healthscope (ASX:HSO) and Primary Health Care (ASX:PRY).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR), dropping 5.62 per cent to $5.71, followed by shares in IPH (ASX:IPH) and South32 (ASX:S32).

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,353 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 79.40 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mostly higher: Bitcoin has gained 9 per cent to US$10,306, Tether has fallen 0.1 per cent to US$1, and Ethereum has gained about 3 per cent to US$941.