Energy & banks lift, Aristocrat in trading halt: ASX up 0.4% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket opened higher and has held its lead this morning thanks to banks, materials and energy stocks. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.4 per cent or 27.3 points higher at 7389.3. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 23 points.

Across the sectors, 6 out of 11 are in the green. Financials and energy are doing the best, up 0.9 and 0.8 per cent. Meanwhile, health care and technology are the two worst, down 0.4 and 0.3 per cent.

The best-performing stock is Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC), trading 4.1 per cent higher. The worst-performing stock is Kogan.com (ASX:KGN), trading 3.4 per cent lower at $10.82.

Energy stocks are lifting the ASX, led by Santos (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH), up 1.4 and 1.6 per cent, and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), up 0.8 per cent. Major banks are higher this morning, led by ANZ (ASX:ANZ), up 1.3 per cent. QBE Insurance (ASX:QBE) is also up 1 per cent and financial services provider IOOF (ASX:IFL) is up 2.5 per cent. 

Heavyweight miners are lifting higher with Rio (ASX:RIO) up 1.4 per cent and Fortescue (ASX:FMG) up 0.7 per cent, despite iron ore prices trading lower. Gold miners are dragging today, with Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) down 2.8 per cent and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) down 3 per cent. However, South32 (ASX:S32) is up 3.4 per cent and battery-ingredient miners OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) are both up 4 per cent. 

In headlines, HUB24 (ASX:HUB) is down 1 per cent following the acquisition of the wealth platform Class (ASX:CL1). Aristocrat (ASX:ALL) is in a trading halt today following the $3.9 billion bid to acquire Playtech.
 
Local economic news


Today the Reserve Bank has slated an online panel participation by Alexandra Heath, Reserve Bank Head of International Department, at AusPECC.

Over the week, the central bank will be taking the spotlight. They will release the minutes from the October 5 board meeting. Given the moves from APRA, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some notes around the tightening of home lending rules.

Other things to watch out for are the consumer confidence figures, September skilled job openings, payroll figures, and flash estimates of manufacturing and services activity.

Company news

Gambling giant Aristocrat (ASX:ALL) has made an offer to acquire the UK online gambling software Playtech, valuing the enterprise at $5 billion.

Wealth platform HUB24 (ASX:HUB) is set to acquire 100 per cent of the cloud-based wealth technology company Class (ASX:CL1) after entering a scheme implementation deed.

IPO

Nickel Search Limited (ASX:NIS) has listed on the ASX today with an issue price of $0.20. The shares opened at 21.5 cents, touched a high of 25 cents and a low of 21 cents and are now trading at 22.5 cents.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Financials, up 0.9 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Health Care, down 0.4 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC), trading 4.1 per cent higher at $1.02. It is followed by shares in OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Kogan.com (ASX:KGN), trading 3.4 per cent lower at $10.82. It is followed by shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1771.60 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.5 per cent lower at US$125.22 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 3.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.13 US cents. Investor event

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