Australian share market rally continues: ASX 0.6% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The Australian share market climbed at the open following positive leads from Wall Street and is now tracking steady at noon. The index is above 6000 points and has hit a three week high.

Financials are leading the charge up around 0.8 per cent with NAB (ASX:NAB) and Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG)among the top gainers.

Utilities and telcos are trailing behind Telstra(ASX:TLS) slipping 0.02 per cent.

Most companies who have announced results today are lifting.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is up 34 points at 6076 up 0.6 per cent. On the futures market the SPI is up 34 points.

Company News

Santos (ASX:STO) production in Papua New Guinea has shut down following a 7.5 magnitude earth quake in the country’s southern highlands. The oil and gas producer says production at its LNG Hides plant and Kutubu gas facilities have closed following the quake and after shock. Production will remain closed while a full assessment takes place. Shares in Santos (ASX:STO) are trading /down 0.79 per cent at $5.03.

Oil and gas company, AWE’s (ASX:AWE) under takeover bidder, Chinese state-owned firm, China Energy Reserve and Chemical Group (CERCG) has withdrawn its takeover offer of the ASX firm. It comes as AWE’s board recommended shareholders accept Mitsui & Co’s takeover offer of $0.95 per share. All this follows AWE releasing its independent expert report statement that mentioned, Mitsui’s offer is ‘fair and reasonable’. AWE (ASX:AWE) shares are trading down 0.8 per cent at $0.96.

Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) is set to spend a minimum of $2 million in exploration costs in two years at Auris Minerals’ (ASX:AUR) WA Bryah Basin . Essentially, Sandfire has the right to farm in five of the company’s exploration tenements. Shares in Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) are trading up 0.13 per cent at $7.72.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is financials adding 0.9 per cent to 6531 points while the worst performing sector is utilities, shedding 0.7 per cent to 7551 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Costa Group Holdings(ASX:CGC), rising 9.3 per cent to $6.81, followed by shares in Iluka (ASX:ILU) and Caltex (ASX:CTX).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Orocobre (ASX:ORE), dropping 7.50 per cent to $6.43, followed by shares in Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) and Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY).

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,336 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.68 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher:
Bitcoin has gained 7.3 per cent to US$10, 432, Tether has gained about 0.1 per cent to US$1 Ethereum gained about 2.8 per cent to US$876.