Good start to week: Aus shares 0.5% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market kicked off the trading week on the high note, adding about 0.5 per cent with gains seen most of the sectors today and traders eyeing 6,000 point mark in the distance after we last hit it in Feb.

The property sector is leading the way, after Stockland Group (ASX:SGP) shares clocked up by 2.6 per cent after it advised its on track to achieved its guidance with funds from operations to grow by 5 to 6.5 per cent on the full year, plus pay a distribution of 26.5 cents, that’s 4 per cent higher than FY17.

Financials are also boding well today with the likes of Westpac (ASX:WBC) leading the other three major banks higher. Despite that, all four major banks are in the negative, year to date with CBA falling the most this year, down over 10 per cent while NAB (ASX:NAB) has only lost 1.9 per cent.

Iron price fell 0.9 per cent to US$65.68 with BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio (RIO) in red territory while lithium players like Pilbara (ASX:PLS) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) are boding well today.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 27 points up or 0.46 per cent higher at 5,981 On the futures market the SPI is 15 points higher.

Company news 

Medical cannabis company, Cann Group (ASX:CAN) has quashed media speculation about a takeover from Aurora Cannabis, saying it has not received any form of takeover bid. But says it is preliminary and confidential talks about a potential transaction. Shares in Cann Group are trading 15.4 per cent higher at $3.45.

Bell Financial Group (ASX:BFG) is seeking shareholder approval to snap up the remaining interest in its online broking platform TPP, Third Party Platform for $36.9 million. The platform is used by retail clients of Bell Direct. If approved the deal equates to 43.37 per cent of the shares that it doesn’t already own, taking its holding in the platform to 100 per cent, and valuing TPP at $85 million. The share trading platform has grown more than $15 billion in sponsored holdings, and has more than 117,000 active clients. Bell Financial Group shares are trading 0.7 per cent lower at $0.72

IPOs

Microequities Asset Management Group (ASX:MAM) started trading today with the fund manager issuing shares at a price of 80 cents, opening at 85 cents and it’s now trading at 79 cents.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is reits adding 1.3 per cent to 1,354 points while the worst performing sector is materials, shedding 0.5 per cent to 11,794 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is G8 Education (ASX:GEM), rising 6 per cent to $2.31, followed by shares in Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Domino's Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP), dropping 2.6 per cent to $42.72, followed by shares in Sandfire Resources Nl (ASX:SFR) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA).

Asian markets

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.8 per cent, while, Japan’s Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite are not trading due to public holidays. 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,325 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.74 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$9,427 EOS trades at US$21.00 and Ethereum trades at US$693