Wall Street provided a weak lead due to a fall in oil prices overnight, and investor speculation on when the Federal Reserve will next raise interest rates. Despite that, the Australian share market has opened in positive territory, and is now 0.93% (or almost 1%) higher at noon.
The healthcare sector is leading the charge, while energy is trailing well behind the pack today. The financials space is also performing well, with Australia’s largest banks (CBA, ANZ, NAB and Westpac) all posting gains.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 52 points up at 5,567. On the futures market the SPI is 45 points higher.
Vocus Communications Ltd (ASX:VOC) has announced its revenue shot up 455% to $830.8 million for the full year ended 30 June 2016. Vocus’ underlying NPAT also rose 461% to 101.7 million. The company says it had a “transformational year” and that its results were driven by its acquisition of Amcom Telecommunications Ltd and its merger with M2 Group Ltd. Shares in Vocus are trading up 2.76 per cent at $8.57.
The Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) has announced that its profit after tax rose 6.6% to $1.15 billion for the half year ended 30 June 2016. This was despite a 5.2% drop in revenue to $1.28 billion. The retail group also says its Funds from Operations were $617 million, representing 11.61 cents per security. In addition to the 40 Westfield shopping centres that it owns, Scentre Group has recently jointly purchased the David Jones building at Market Street, Sydney, with Cbus Property. Shares in Scentre Group are trading up 0.49 percent at $5.09.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector, so far, is Healthcare, gaining 1.3 per cent to 22,151. Shares in Healthscope have risen 3.28 per cent and trading at $3.00. Shares in Virtus Health and CSL are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 0.4 per cent to 8,696. Shares in Worley Parsons have fallen 4 per cent, trading at $8.83. Shares in Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,338 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7634.