Good start to week, trading above 6k: ASX 0.5% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market opened higher for the week, following Wall Street’s rally on Friday with tech stocks rising the most. The local bourse shot up at the open, above its key milestone 6,000 mark with most of the sectors seeing gains and pushing us forth.

Telcos are in the lead today after Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) shares gained over 4 per cent after its group CEO resigned and it appointed Michael Simmons, a divisional chief executive as interim CEO.

Water system company, Reliance Worldwide (ASX:RWC) also another strong performer after it released its half year results. Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) also a top performer after it announced its second half underlying earnings will be about 25 per cent higher that the first half.

And local lithium giant, Orocobre (ASX:ORE) also rubbing shoulders with today’s stars after it reported results last Friday.

Putting a cap on gains so far this session, are utilities and staples with education provider G8 Education (ASX:GEM) reported its underling earnings fell slightly in FY17, which saw its shares slide.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.5 per cent or 27 points higher at 6,026. On the futures market the SPI is 26 points higher.

Company news 

Adairs (ASX:ADH) reported its net profit after tax rose about 63 per cent to about $14 million in the first half of this financial year. And in more good news for the company, its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) soared over 70 per cent to about $21 million for the 26 weeks ending December, when compared to the prior corresponding period. It comes as its sales rose about 20 per cent over the period to $149 million, with new and upgraded stores bolstering the growth. At the same time, it confirmed its second half of the financial year is on track to deliver its full year upgraded stores, sales, earnings, and profit guidance for the full year. Adairs shares are trading 5.3 per cent lower at $2.16.

Spark Infrastructure Group (ASX:SKI) reported a 9.3 per cent rise in its profit for the full 2017 year ending December with its net profit after tax hitting $88.6 million. Its SA Power Networks division contributed the most to profit in the period, followed by Victoria Power Networks. Its total income also bolted ahead, rising 17 per cent in the year, compared to 2016, with total income hitting $285 million. And its shares are trading 2.7 per cent higher at $2.46.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is telcos adding 1.1 per cent to 1,259 points while the worst performing sector is utilities, shedding 1.2 per cent to 7,553 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Reliance Worldwide Corporation (ASX:RWC), rising 7.5 per cent to $4.45, followed by shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Bluescope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is G8 Education (ASX:GEM), dropping 6.5 per cent to $2.94 followed by shares in Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX) and APA Group (ASX:APA).

Gold and the dollar 

Gold is trading at $US1,330 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.36 US cents.


The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading mixed: Bitcoin has fallen 1 per cent to US$9,689, Tether is pretty much flat at US$1.00, and Ethereum trades 1 per cent higher to US$850

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.