The Australian share market opened higher and continued to gain momentum, setting a weekly high, and taking the market back to where it traded in the range of last Wednesday and Thursday. Most of the sectors are trading higher today with four sectors gaining about 1 per cent or more, despite stocks in the US closing mostly unchanged ahead of corporate earnings season kick off.
No data came out today from an economic perspective today, however, the Financial Stability Review from the Reserve Bank was released for April so traders and investors are sinking their teeth into that
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.6 per cent or 37 points up at 6,236 points. On the futures market the SPI is 34 points higher.
Lithium play, Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Toyota Tsusho Corporation’s Joint Venture lithium hydroxide plant has been approved to be built in Japan. Orocobre will hold 75 per cent of the economic interest in the project, with operations to be managed by Toyota Tsusho Corporation. It will cost US$77.6 million, with the JV company to receive a Japanese government subsidy of US$27.1 million, taking the net costs US$50.5 million. The majority of production will be delivered to the Japanese battery industry. A cathode manufacturing plant is already in operation and plans have been announced to develop a battery manufacturing facility nearby. Shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) last traded $3.43 at noon. Year-on-year its shares are 28 per cent lower, while this year its shares have gained 6 per cent.
The Australian Government’s Foreign Investment Review Board has approved BGH's proposed acquisition of global education provider, Navitas (ASX:NVT). The takeover proposal of $2.1 billion from the BGH Consortium, is for $5.825 per share. Year-to-date its shares are 14 per cent higher. It's trading 0.2 per cent lower at $5.76 at noon.
A leading provider of software for the financial services industry, Bravura (ASX:BVS) is proposing to buy fellow financial services tech company GBST (ASX:GBT) for $169.8 million, (at a price of $2.50 per GBST share). The takeover offer is non-binding and indicative. Shares in Bravura (ASX:BVS) are trading 2.9 per cent higher at $5.40 at noon. Year-to-date its shares have gained 44 per cent. While GBST (ASX:GBT) shares jumped 22 per cent higher on the news to $2.41. Year-to-date it’s trading 56 per cent higher.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is S&P/ASX 200 Financials adding 1.2 per cent, followed by Info Tech, while the worst performing sector is S&P/ASX 200 Health Care, shedding 0.6 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is CYBG Plc (ASX:CYB), rising 4.9 per cent to $3.86, followed by shares in Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Evolution Mining Limited (ASX:EVN), dropping 3.9 per cent to $3.54, followed by shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR) and Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR).
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has slipped 0.03 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,294 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.1 per cent to US$95.65
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.24 US cents.