Despite mixed leads from US markets, the Australian share market has bounced at the open and is continuing to gain momentum throughout the session, tracking 0.59 per cent higher at noon. The materials space is continuing on its upwards ascent as iron ore prices hold firm, with the likes of the big miners BHP and Rio Tinto gaining around 1.7 per cent. We have also seen the big four banks bounce back after being sold off at the end of last week, that’s with the exception of CBA which is currently flat.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 33 points higher at 5,754. On the futures market the SPI is up 27 points.
Duet Group Limited (ASX:DUE) has announced it has entered into a Scheme Implementation Agreement utilities with giant Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings and its partners. The consortium will acquire 100 per cent of Duet’s stapled securities on issue in a reported $7.4 billion deal. The board of the electricity and gas distributor have recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme in absence of a superior proposal. Shares in Duet Group are trading up 5.22 per cent at $2.93.
Creso Pharma Limited (ASX:CPH) has gone into a trading halt pending the release of an announcement by the medicinal cannabis and hemp company. Cresopharma says the announcement relates to a significant development in the company’s European operations and will remain in place until this Wednesday at the latest. Shares in Creso Pharma last traded at $0.21.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Utilities, gaining 1.5 per cent to 8,081. Shares in Duet Group (ASX:DUE) have risen 5.22 per cent and trading at $2.93. Shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) and APA Group (ASX:APA) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 0.3 per cent to 9,345. Shares in Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) have fallen 1.54 per cent, trading at $0.80. Shares in Santos Limited (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,201 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7496.