Back in black: Aus shares up 1% at noon

Market Reports

by David Chau

Following strong leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market opened higher. Currently, it's tracking 1% higher at noon.

All sectors are in the black today, led by shares in the financials space. Financials had a weak performance last week. This was due to negative global sentiment, arising out of news that Deutsch Bank was fined US$14 billion by the US Justice Department for selling toxic mortgage bonds.

Now, financials have recovered following reports that the German lender is close to reaching a settlement with US authorities, and it’s expected that Deutsch Bank will pay be paying less than half of that fine.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is up 53 points at 5,489. On the futures market the SPI is 59 points higher.

Company news

Medical device company, PolyNovo Ltd (ASX:PNV), is planning to introduce its Biodegradable Temporising Matrix (BTM) to the US. The BTM is a device used to treat severe wounds and burns. Instead of partnering with a major medical devices company, PolyNovo has decided to enter the US market using its own sales team. The company believes this strategy will help it achieve rapid market penetration and maximise its margin.  Shares in PolyNovo are trading down 6.9% at 27 cents.

Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) has completed the $165 million sale of its struggling Home Timber and Hardware business. The sale was made to Metcash. Meanwhile, Woolworths and its US joint venture partner, Lowe’s, are heading towards arbitration to in order work out an ‘equitable and orderly’ wind up of the Masters Home Improvement chain. Shares in Woolworths are trading up 0.39% at $23.36.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Financials, gaining 1.3 per cent to 5,995. Shares in Henderson Group have risen 4.32 per cent and are trading at $3.98. Shares in CYBG and Credit Corp are also stronger.

The sector which had the least gains was Healthcare, gaining 0.2 per cent to 21,729. Shares in Japara Healthcare have fallen 0.49 per cent, trading at $2.03. Shares in Sigma Pharmaceuticals and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,316 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7655