Following mostly positive leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market opened in the black and is currently tracking 0.85 per cent higher at noon. The financials space is leading the charge, with gains in all of the big four banks; ANZ the best performer up 1.5 per cent. It has also been a strong start to the session for the energy space, with Santos and Woodside regaining some value after some heavy losses earlier this week; up around 6 and 3.5 per cent respectively. The telcos space is painting a bit of a mixed picture with small losses in Telstra and TPG Telecom.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 44 points higher at 5,260. On the futures market the SPI is up 37 points.
South32 Limited (ASX:S32)
has released its results for the March quarter, saying it continues to strengthen its balance sheet by focussing on value and not volume. The BHP spin-off says its operating performance at Worsley Alumina supported a 5% increase in production for the quarter. The company’s estimated cash position was at US$18 million. Shares in South32 are trading up 3.7 per cent at $1.68.
Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN)
has confirmed that it has received an unsolicited, non-binding recapitalisation proposal from CHAMP private equity, which would involve the subscription of new equity of $150 million via two separate share placements. The mining services company has advised CHAMP that the proposal was not acceptable. Shares in Bradken are trading up 6.9 per cent at $0.78.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Energy, gaining 3.77 per cent to 8,206. Shares in Worley Parsons have risen 7.92 per cent and trading at $6.95. Shares in Santos and Woodside are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Property, falling 1.17 per cent to 1,377. Shares in Goodman Group have fallen 1.89 per cent, trading at $6.74. Shares in Scentre Group and Shopping Centres Australia are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,247 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7803.