With Wall Street extending a rally in the S&P500 to a fifth day, the Australian share market opened higher and is 0.3 per cent up at noon, with some strong gains in materials stocks that are making up ground on a pre-Anzac day commodity price rally.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 15 points up at 5,118. On the futures market the SPI is 5 points lower.
Westfield Group (ASX:WDC)
will make a number of changes to its board following the decision of two long standing members to not seek re-election at the company’s AGM in May. Stephen Johns and Professor Fred Hilmer will stand down after serving on the board for 27 and 21 years respectively, prompting a raft of changes to the board structure, including former Price Waterhouse Coopers CEO Mark G Johnson standing for board election. Shares in Westfield Group are trading down 1.31 per cent at $11.63.
Worleyparsons Limited (ASX:WOR)
has been awarded two framework agreements by BP for the provision of consulting services across its business line outside of North America. CEO Andrew Wood says the contracts, awarded over a 3 year term, represent a significant development in the growth of Worley’s restoration business. Shares in Worley Parsons are trading up 0.09 per cent at $23.37.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Materials gaining 218 points to 9,268. Shares in Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX:SLR)
have risen 15.12 per cent and trading at $1.18. Shares in Regis Resources Limited (ASX:RRL)
and Alacer Gold Corp (ASX:AQG)
are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Healthcare, falling 145 points to 12,773. Shares in Mesoblast limited (ASX:MSB)
have fallen 4.27 per cent, trading at $5.61. Shares in Sigma Pharmaceutical Limited (ASX:SIP)
and Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX:RHC)
are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,484 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US1.033.