ASX extends rally: Aus shares 0.5% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market headed south at the open and is pushing higher. In terms of catalysts, we had positive leads as Wall Street rebounded and the iron ore price lifted, with the futures price suggested another lift, with the ore futures up 3 per cent

The telco sector is leading most of the sectors higher today, with miners and energy stocks also out in front. The likes of Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) is over 2 per cent higher. Mining giant, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is 1.6 per cent higher with BHP (ASX:BHP) and Fortescue (ASX:FMG) also seeing gains of under 0.5 per cnet.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.5 per cent higher or 27 points at 5,836. On the futures market the SPI is 17 points higher.

Economic news

NAB business confidence fell more than expected to a reading of 7 in March down from the prior month’s reading of 9. Analysts forecast NAB’s reading would hit 8.

Company news

Orocobre (ASX:ORE) updated the market about its brine drilling in the Jujuy Provence of Argentina which confirmed positive porosity and permeability. The exploration program is being managed by its JV partner, Advantage Lithium Corp. Orocobre owns 25 per cent of the JV property and 29 per cent of Advantage Lithium’s issue capital. As for Orocobre shares at noon, they are tracking 0.4 per cent higher at $4.95..

South32 (ASX:S32) shares are trading at two-month high, with the miner in the midst of a US$441 million buy back. It also follows South32 providing US$275,000 in funding to a small mining company, Inca Mining (ASX:ICG) in order to receive the exclusive option to earn-in and acquire majority ownership of Inca’s lead zinc-silver-led project in Peru. At noon, South32 shares in X are trading 4.5 per cent higher at $3.46.

Kingfish, tuna and Mulloway producer, Clean Seas Seafood (ASX:CSS) has been awarded a $2.5 million regional jobs and investment grant and also appointed a GM of Aquaculture, Dan Fisk. Dan started the role in April, overseeing breeding, hatchery and farming, just to name a few roles. Its shares are trading at $0.06.

Vacuum cleaner merchant Godfreys (ASX:GFY) advised shareholders not to action the takeover proposal from Arcade, offering to snap up the shares at 32 cents per share. That’s a 52 per cent premium to the closing price of the company on the 6 Apri 2018. 

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is telcos adding 1.1 per cent to 1,147 points while the worst performing sector is healthcare, shedding 0.6 per cent to 26,330 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG), rising 5 per cent to $0.94, followed by shares in Xero (ASX:XRO) and Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nanosonics (ASX:NAN), dropping 1.95 per cent to $2.51, followed by shares in IPH (ASX:IPH) and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.06 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has risen by 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.4 per cent.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,335 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.12 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$6,767, Ethereum trades at US$398 and TRON trades at US$3.5 cents.