ASX dashes ahead on Cup Day: Aus shares 1.7% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Michael Luu

The Australian stock market has dashed forward into 6000s territory this morning, as stock punters are betting on a rate cut on Cup Day. The festivities can be felt across the market as all sectors are in the black. Treasury Wines (ASX:TWE) and the A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) are among the few stocks “off the bridle” today, affected by trade tensions between Australia and China. Energy is the leading jockey so far with a gain of 4.9 per cent, with all sector heavyweights including Beach Energy (ASX:BPT), Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), Santos (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) making gains.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 1.7 per cent higher or 100 points up at 6,051. On the futures market, the SPI is suggesting a rise of 104 points.

Local economic news

The Reserve Bank Board is predicted to lower the cash rate to 0.1 per cent from 0.25 per cent. Market analysts are also anticipating a quantity based asset purchase (QE) program buying a mix of Commonwealth Government and state government bonds. An announcement is expected to be released around 2.30 pm.

Company news

Vocational training provider iCollege (ASX:ICT) has successfully raised $5.5 million through its recent placement. 55 million ordinary shares were targeted at institutional, professional and sophisticated investors. The company intends to utilise the acquired funds to boost growth and capitalise on the new 1$ billion Job Trainer Fund. The raising has lifted the iCollege’s cash balance above $6 million.

Shares in iCollege (ASX:ICT) are trading 12.5 per cent higher at 14 cents

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy adding 4.9 per cent, while the sector with the fewest gains is Ultities, adding 0.3 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) rising 7.8 per cent to $1.24, followed by shares in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) and Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) dropping 7.7 per cent to $4.10, followed by shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and IDP Education (ASX:IEL).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,894 an ounce.
The Iron Ore price has gained 0.5 per cent to US $118.06
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.8 per cent
One Australian dollar is buying 70.53 US cents.

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