The Australian share market defied the odds, shaking off the weak leads from Wall Street and is tracking 0.5 per cent higher again for the second day this week, giving us a gain of 1 per cent, if we had added yesterday’s gains to today.
Financials are leading most sectors higher today with IOOF steam-training ahead on a distribution deal with ANZ.
ANZ is also boding well, up 1.8 per cent today. It was the first of the big four out of the stalls to report and its results were generally in line with expectations. NAB (ASX:NAB) is due to report on Thursday 3 May, WBC (ASX:WBC) next Monday 7 May. While CBA (ASX:CBA) quarterly update date is not yet determined.
Miners are trading in the black today despite the iron ore price slipping 0.4 per cent to US$65.43. The likes of Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is up over 2 per cent, with BHP (ASX:BHP) up over 1 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 31 points up OR 0.54 per cent higher at 6,014. On the futures market the SPI is 32 points higher.
Australia’s manufacturing industry saw less momentum in April, with the industry’s index falling 4.8 points to a reading of 58.3 in April. It follows on from March’s record high 63.1 reading. Of course it’s still positive as the reading is above the 50 level of expansion.
And the RBA is expected to keep interest rates on hold at 1.5 per cent, and hand down their decision at 2.30pm today. It’s widely expected rates will remain on hold as inflation is at lower end of the RBA’s target range.
Cloud-based software solution, WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) is now expecting its revenue growth to between 37 per cent and 43 per cent and in the range of $210 million and $220 million for FY18. It comes as first half 2018 revenue is already 31 per cent higher than the first half of the 2017. The tech company made the announcement as it presented at an Macqurie Australia’s investor conference today in Sydney. As a result there has been a lot of buying today and it’s shares are 4.6 per cent higher at $10.50.
Another star performer today is IOOF (ASX:IFL) seeing a lot of buying, propelling it also to one of today’s best performers. It comes as ANZ (ASX:ANZ) advised in as part of its wealth sale, it will enter into two 20-year strategic alliances, offering IOOF superannuation and investment products to ANZ customers. Meanwhile the big four will also offer the same deal for 20 years with Zurich Life Insurance, offering life cover through ANZ’s channels. The alliances will kick off once the sale of OPL and OnePath are completed in late calander year this year. If we look at IOOF shares they are 4.2 per cent higher at $9.35.
Meantime, ANZ advised it will retain ANZ Financial Planning, ANZ Share Investing, Lender’s Mortgage Insurance and distribution of general insurance productions.
Telecommunication company, Amaysim (ASX:AYS) received some extra buy in power today from Fidelity International (FIL Limited) and its affiliates who took their holding in the company to 9 per cent. As a result Amaysim shares popped higher but are now trading flat at $1.20.
Adriatic Metals Plc (ASX:ADT) started trading today, with mineral exploration and resource company issuing shares at 20 cents. It opened 22 cents and its trading at 20 cents.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is financials adding 1 per cent while the worst performing sector is healthcare, shedding 0.9 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Wisetech Global Limited (ASX:WTC), rising 4.6 per cent higher at $10.50, followed by shares in IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX IFL) and IPH (ASX: PH).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Graincorp Limited (ASX:GNC), dropping 6 per cent to $8.36, followed by shares in Independence Group Nl (ASX:IGO) and Nine Entertainment Co (ASX:NEC).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,313 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.36 US cents.
Bitcoin US$9,044 and while EOS has shed 19 per cent to US$16.67