Following positive leads from Wall Street and mixed leads elsewhere, the Australian share market opened higher and continued up after solid reports from resources and industrials. At noon, the ASX is 0.7 per cent up.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 39 points up at 5,347. On the futures market the SPI is 38 points higher.
Australians are slightly less in hock this month. The ABS has reported that the total value of owner occupied housing commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 1.0% in trend terms, but fell 1.5 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms. Personal finance commitments also fell by 1.1 per cent. Businesses are in greater debt, however with the value of total commercial finance commitments up by 1.9 per cent, 4.5 per cent in seasonal terms. Lease finance also increased by 0.9 percent.
Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN)
budget off-shoot Jetstar has announced today it will start code sharing with Emirates. The move is set to open up new destinations for Emirates passengers across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. Jetstar COO Lisa Brock has said the agreement has created a network offering that will provide Emirates passengers with a range of new holiday options, in turn driving inbound tourism traffic to Australia. Shares in Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN)
are trading up 2.74 per cent at $1.22.
Sims Metal Management Limited (ASX:SGM)
has announced that despite what it called challenging conditions, it has doubled its statutory net profit to $9 million. The metal merchant was also keen to point out a recovery in earnings and a reduction of net debt. It says market conditions in H2 will remain challenging but expects earnings to continue improvement. Shares in Sims Metal Management Limited (ASX:SGM)
are trading up 6.39 per cent at $10.66.
The best and worst performers
All segments are in positive territory at noon. After a few days heading down, the best performing sector is Health Care gaining 186 points to 14,035. Shares in Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX:RHC)
have risen 2.88 per cent and trading at $42.81. Shares in Acrux Limited (ASX:ACR)
and Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB)
are also stronger.
The sector with the least gains is Telcos, up 7 points to 1,800. Shares in Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (ASX:SGT)
is down 0.32 per cent, trading at $3.13. Shares in Telecom Corp of New Zealand (ASX:TEL)
are flat at noon, while Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS)
is slightly up.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,302 an ounce. The Australian dollar is buying $US0.8997.