The Australian share market dipped on open despite ‘constructive discussions’ regarding the phase-one China and US trade deal between negotiators. Appen led the gains following its positive guidance update and shares in AFT Pharmaceuticals rose after the company announced their international licensing agreements to new markets worth more than $1b. The worst perfoming stock at noon was Smartgroup falling 16.47 per cent on news that it’s CEO would be retiring.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 41 points down at 6,753. On the futures market the SPI is 51 points lower.
Citi has rated Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX:ALL) as a buy.
Ahead of Aristocrat Leisure's earnings result on Wednesday, the broker has increased its price target to $37.90 from $35.00, retaining its buy. According to FNArena's report, the broker expects FY19 to deliver another year of double-digit earnings growth and believes the same can be achieved for the next three years. Shares in Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX:ALL) 2 per cent higher at $32.
Imugene Limited (ASX:IMU) has completed the acquisition of its Oncolytic Virus. The company says that in a competitive market place where big pharma companies are actively seeking OV technologies, this comes with robust intellectual property and long patent life, compelling pre-clinical efficacy and safety, and is anticipated to enter two Phase 1 clinical trials in 2020. Imugene is a biotechnology company working in cancer immunotherapy. The company's lead product is HER-Vaxx, a therapeutic cancer vaccine for the treatment of gastric cancer and breast cancer. Shares in Imugene Limited (ASX:IMU) are trading 17.8 per higher at 5 cents.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, adding 0.2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is A-REIT, shedding 1.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Appen (ASX:APX) rising 10.8 per cent to $25.83, followed by shares in Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) and Qantas (ASX:QAN).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Smartgroup Corporation (ASX:SIQ), dropping 13.6 per cent to $9.50, followed by shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,467 an ounce.
Iron ore price has risen 1.9 per cent to US$85.04
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.16 US cents.