It was a tentative start to the trading session for the Australian share market. It opened in the red, but has been gaining momentum, defying negative leads from Wall Street, with the ASX200 pushing higher in the first two hours of trade and is now 0.3 per cent higher at noon.
While the sectors are mixed today the lead stand out so far is the Materials space, with iron ore giant, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) jumping over 4 per cent after the Iron Ore price jumped over 5 per cent overnight. The company also recently announced a number of growth initiatives.
The Energy, Financials, Telcos and Consumer Discretionary spaces are also trading higher with the likes of IAG (ASX:IAG)’s shares hitting a 12-year high after it upgraded its profit margins.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 17 points up at 5,732. On the futures market the SPI is 21 points higher.
Asian markets are trading lower; Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has fallen 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has softened by 0.2 per cent.
Santos Limited (ASX:STO) has announced positive results from the two-well appraisal drilling campaigns in the Barossa Field in the Bonaparte Basin. Santos says the successful outcome strengthens its position to supply backfill gas to Darwin LNG. The Barossa Gas field is 300 kilometres north of Darwin and is one of Santos’ five core assets. Santos also holds an 11.5 per cent interest in Darwin LNG. Shares in Santos are trading higher by 2.03 per cent to $3.02
Genex Power Limited (ASX:GNX) says it has received critical infrastructure and prescribed project declarations by the Queensland government in relation to its renewable energy project in North Queensland. The minister’s declarations will facilitate the coordination and rapid development of its Stage two Hydro and Solar projects. The Stage two project is expected to employ an additional 500 workers when construction commences next year. Shares in Genex Power shares are trading 2.22 per cent higher at 23 cents.
The best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 0.96 per cent to 9,681. Shares in Sims Metal Management Limited (ASX:SGM) have risen 8.22 per cent and trading at $15.14. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) and South32 Limited (ASX:S32) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Industrials, falling 0.8 per cent to 5,830. Shares in ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ) have fallen 3.13 per cent, trading at $7.58. Shares in IPH Limited (ASX:IPH) and Macquarie Atlas Roads Group (ASX:MQA) are also lower.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,251 an ounce and
The Australian dollar is buying 76.12 US cents.