The Australian share market is trading higher for the fourth day in a row, and we were just points away from a new 10 year high earlier (that was last set on 8 January 2018 at 6,136), but we have lost a bit of momentum, but we are still trading higher.
We had positive sentiment from the get-go as Wall Street rallied on energy stocks gaining as the US Crude price surged 3 per cent, hitting a fresh 3 and a half year high after the US quit the Iran nuclear deal.
We are seeing strong gains in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) with an over 4 per cent lift, Woodside (ASX:WPL) and Worsley Parsons (ASX:WOR) are following.
Miners are also boding well, while the iron ore price fell 0.5 per cent to US$66.46 and its future are trading steady.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 15 points up or 0.24 per cent at 6,123 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 18 points higher.
Company news now
AMP (ASX:AMP) reported early this morning it’s been hit with two class actions, alleging the wealth management giant breached continuous disclosure obligations and made misleading statements. It comes as its holds its AGM today in Melbourne with the wealth giant saying 50 per cent of its board have left or signalled to leave the firm. The interim executive chairman addressed angry shareholders saying he acknowledged AMP let them and customers down, along with the wider community. Its shares are 0.7 per cent lower at $4.05 at noon.
Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) formerly BT Investment Management reported a 45 per cent jump in its net profit after tax, to a record $114.8 million in the six months ending 31 March 2018. Its fee revenue steamed up 22 per cent to almost $297 million. It declared a 16 per cent lift in its interim dividend to 22 cents, which is to be paid on 2 July 2018, on the record date of 25 May 2018. Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) shares are trading 8.4 per cent higher at $9.97 at noon.
Xero (ASX:XRO) reported a 38 per cent rise in revenues for the 12 months through to 31 March 2018, to NZ$406.6 million. Over the year it built on its foundations, gaining control of its three subsidiary companies in Hong Kong, South Africa and Canada, which took its toll on headline profit figures, which came in at a $27.8 million loss. Albeit, that loss was a 60 per cent improvement on FY17. Xero (ASX:XRO) shares are trading at a fresh one year high, but at noon they are now 0.17 per cent lower, at $41.21.
Share trading registry provider, Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK) advised that the Government’s changes in having inactive super accounts transferred to the ATO, may have a material impact on its funds administration division for FY2020. It comes as the Federal Budget proposed for super balances less than $6,000, with no contribution for 13 months will be closed and transferred to the ATO from the 1 July 2019. Link also advised it contract for funds administration services with CareSuper, will now not be renewed and that accounts for 1 per cent of Link’s revenue. As for Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK) shares, they have claimed one of the worst performing positions today, 7.4 per cent lower at $7.31 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is energy adding 2.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is teclos, shedding 2.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pendal Group (ASX:PDL), rising 8.4 per cent at $9.97., followed by shares in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC), dropping 8.5 per cent to $2.59, followed by shares in Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK) and Greencross (ASX:GXL).
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added almost 1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.5 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,315 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.70 US cents.
Bitcoin trades at US$9,343, Ethereum is at US$758 and Bitcoin Cash trades 5 per cent higher US$1,649.