Majors pounce on Atlas Iron: Aus shares 0.7% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is on track for its second day of straight gains on the back of Wall Street’s rally, with the Dow Jones closing above 25,000 for the first time since mid-March.

Telcos, miners and energy stocks are leading most sectors higher, while staples and banks are also making solid gains. TPM (ASX:TPG) is trading over 3 per cent higher continuing its three day upward trend.

As for the miners, Rio (ASX:RIO) and BHP (ASX:BHP) are up around 2 per cent at noon, after the iron ore price gained 0.3 per cent to US$66.56 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.5 per cent.

While on the oil and energy stock front, the crude oil price is nearing the OPEC’s target price of US$65 with Santos (ASX:STO) gaining over 2 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 45 points or 0.7 per cent higher at 6,070.. On the futures market the SPI is 46 points higher.

Economic news

International Trade figures released show Australia made a trade surplus of $977 million in April, which was weaker than the prior month’s $1.7 billion surplus.

Company news

Iron ore major, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) has snapped up 15 per cent of Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) shares at 4 cents, plus also entered a cash swap of about 5 per cent, taking their holding in the smaller miner to 20 per cent [19.9 per cent]. This also follows Macquarie Group (ASX:MGQ) increasing its major holding in Atlas to 6.2 per cent on 11 May 2018. Meantime, Fortescue says it doesn’t support the $280 million takeover from Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), but it will reserve the right to change this. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) are trading 0.2 per cent lower at $4.79, while Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) shares are rallying up 4.7 per cent higher to $0.03.

Investa Office Fund (ASX:IOF) inked an agreement to lease out 83 per cent of Barrack Place, Sydney, to a top 10 national law firm, Mills Oakley. The lease is for an 11-year term, starting the beginning of next year at 151 Clarence Street Sydney, levels 7 to 12. IOF says the third major tenant will bring in a considerable amount of income for the fund. Shares in Investa Office Fund (ASX:IOF) are trading 0.4 per cent lower at $5.06.

Global fund manager, BlackRock, minimised their holding, in milk company a2 Milk (ASX:A2M) just two days after they became a major shareholder in the firm. Blackrock reduced its stake from over 5 per cent [5.032 per cent] to just under five per cent [4.997 per cent]. At noon shares in a2 Milk (ASX:A2M) are trading 3.7 per cent higher at $10.31.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is telcos adding 1.7 per cent while worst performing sector is utilities, gaining 0.5 per cen. .

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX), rising 6.7 per cent to $0.88, followed by shares in Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (ASX:API) and CIMIC GROUP LIMITED (ASX:CIM).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Retail Food Group Limited (ASX:RFG), dropping 4.2 per cent to $0.68, followed by shares in Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) and (ASX:CAR).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.8 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.01 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,297 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.54 US cents.


Bitcoin trades at US$7,725, Ethereum trades at US$613 and EOS is lower at US$14.06.

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