The Australian share market had a stellar opening in the first hour of trade and maintained a solid pace on the incline before another positive spike towards noon. Graincorp Limited (ASX:GNC) led the way with Costa Group Holdings Limited (ASX:CGC) also making an appearance in the best performers, taking out second place, despite the company's recent challenges.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 45 points up at 6,780. On the futures market the SPI is 39 points higher.
Morgans has reduced AP Eagers Limited price target from $15.55 to $12.02 although has maintained its 'add' recommendation. The company's trading update reflected tougher market conditions and a softer-than-expected outcome for subsidiary Automotive Holdings in the year to date. While AP Eagers has acquired a large and complex business with several underperforming parts, Morgans believes the eventual prize remains attractive.
Freedom Foods Group Limited's (ASX:FNP) Australian Fresh Milk Holdings has acquired the Torrumbarry Aggregation in Northern Victoria, a 3,500 hectare farm on the Murray River. According to Freedom, the deal has now made Australian Fresh Milk Holdings the largest diary producer in Australia. As part of the acquisition, Freedom Foods contributed $4.0 million in equity funding, based on its 10% equity shareholding. Shares in Freedom Foods Group Limited (ASX:FNP) are trading 1.89 per cent lower at $5.70 at noon.
Capricorn Metals Ltd (ASX:CMM) has appointed of Ms Tammie Dixon as Chief Financial Officer and Joint Company Secretary. Ms Dixon is a certified accountant and has held senior management roles with several ASX listed companies including Regis Resources Ltd. Ms Natasha Santi will continue in her current role as Joint Company Secretary. Shares in Capricorn Metals Ltd (ASX:CMM) are trading flat at 19 cents at noon.
Best and worst performers
At noon, the best-performing sector is A-REIT, adding 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Communication Services, adding 0.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Graincorp Limited (ASX:GNC) rising 7.1 per cent to $8.28, followed by shares in Costa Group Holdings Limited (ASX:CGC) and NextDC (ASX:NXT).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Speedcast International (ASX:SDA), dropping 3.2 per cent to 92 cents, followed by shares in Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) and Washington H Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,468 an ounce.
Iron ore price added 2.9 per cent to US$83.42.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a lift of 3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.94 US cents.