Strong offshore leads lifted the Australian share market more than 1 per cent at open after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) boosted its outlook for global growth and Spanish bond yields fell. All sectors are making gains, led by the miners, with BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) up after the release of its quarterly production report.
The S&P/ASX 200 index has gained 56 points and is 4,345. On the futures market the SPI is 63 points higher.
A gauge on the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future has dipped. Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and the Melbourne Institute’s leading indexes of economic activity came in 2.4 per cent in February, down from 2.5 per cent the month before and under its long term trend of 2.9 per cent.
Shares in Grange Resources Limited (ASX:GRR) have risen following the release of the magnetite producer’s March quarter production report that saw record pellet sales achieved at the beginning of the year. The company has described the quarter as robust and the result as a success with production at its flagship Savage River mine in Tasmania increasing 64 per cent from the same time a year before. Shares in Grange Resources have risen 7.08 per cent and are trading at $0.605.
Shares in Cellmid Limited (ASX:CDY) have soared almost 60 per cent after the biotechnology company announced its antibody patent has been allowed in the US. Cellmid says the decision is a commercially important milestone and strengthens its intellectual property position. Shares in Cellmid have jumped 57.14 per cent and are trading at $0.022.
Best and worst performers
All sectors are adding value: The best performing sector is Materials gaining 193 points to 10,958. Shares in Kagara Limited (ASX:KZL) have risen 18.18 per cent and trading at $0.13. Shares in Thor Mining Plc (ASX:THR) and OM Holdings Limited (ASX:OMH) are also stronger.
The sector with the smallest gains is Telco Services, adding 5 points to 1,160. Shares in Enerji Limited (ASX:ERJ) have lost 9.09 per cent, trading at $0.01. Shares in Hutchison Telecommunications Limited (ASX:HTA) and Amcom Telecommunications Limited (ASX:AMM) are steady at noon.
The NZSX50 is 18 points higher at noon. Taking a look at the top four stocks by turnover, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand is at the top of the list with stock up 0.6 per cent at $2.50, followed by Contact Energy, Fletcher Building and Westpac.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,651 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.0409.