Record highs on Wall Street boosted the Australian share market at open - shooting past the 5,000 barrier and trading 0.8 per cent up and noon. Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW)
2.5 per cent quarterly sales growth has supported gains in the retailing sector while the miners have retreated from yesterday’s gains and the sector is dragging at noon.
The S&P/ASX 200 index has advanced 37 points and is sitting at 5,005. On the futures market the SPI is 40 points higher.
Australia’s official March employment figures have come in below expectations. The Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data has revealed the economy lost 36,100 jobs in March, pushing the unemployment rate up to 5.6 per cent despite expectations it would remain steady at 5.4 per cent.
Shares in Maca Limited (ASX:MLD)
have gained following a new contract award for the mining and civil services provider. Main Roads Western Australia has named Maca as the preferred contractor for road upgrade works in the state. Maca says the contract is worth about $42 million and work is expected to start in May. Shares in Maca have gained 2.17 per cent and are trading at $2.82.
Shares in Adslot Limited (ASX:ADJ)
have surged after the internet technology and marketing company announced it has signed an exclusive global contract with the world's largest news site. Adslot advises The Daily Mail is the world's largest news property and has now committed to the Adslot Publisher platform. Adslot CEO Ian Lowe says the contract was secured after a competitive review process and, while it may not drive significant revenue in the short term, the deal does contribute materially to the value of Adslot’s platform. Shares in Adslot have surged 50 per cent and are trading at $0.04.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is consumer discretionary gaining 21 points to 1,596. Shares in The Reject Shop Limited (ASX:TRS)
have risen 4.29 per cent and trading at $16.27. Shares in Crown Limited (ASX:CWN)
and Wotif.com Holdings Limited (ASX:WTF)
are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is materials, falling 38 points to 9,672. Shares in Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG)
have fallen 7.77 per cent, trading at $1.10. Shares in Medusa Mining Limited (ASX:MML)
and PanAust Limited (ASX:PNA)
are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,557 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.051.