ASX rebounds off shaky start: Aus shares 0.03% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Ellerm

The Australian share market started the session with a sharp dive, following negative leads from Wall Street.

But thanks to some better than expected results from Material companies, our local bourse managed to erase early losses and gain positive ground.

Boart Longyear (ASX:BLY) shares are trading 23.6 per cent higher thanks to a 60 per cent rise in its adjusted EBITDA and a 15 per cent gain in its half-year revenue. While South32 (ASX:S32) share have added almost 3.6 per cent after the business saw a strong rebound into profit territory.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 2 points up to 5,739 and now tracking 0.03 per cent higher at noon.

On the futures market the SPI is 19 points higher

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.3 per cent.

Company news

Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) has reported a net loss after tax of $9.6M for FY17. Underlying sales of $560M were booked during the year, with the company indicating underlying annualised sales are now well in excess of $1.2B. The buy now, pay later business generated $23M in merchant fees during FY17, up from $1.3M in the prior year. Shares in Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) are trading 2.27 per cent higher to $3.16.

Megaport (ASX:MP1) has seen its net loss after tax dive deeper into the red to $29 million in the full 2017 financial year. In good news for the bandwidth and cloud company, its revenue soared almost 300 per cent on FY16 to $10.7 million in FY17. The stellar revenue growth came from its total ports and customers which doubled in size over the 12 months. Shares in Megaport (ASX:MP1) are trading are trading 1.38 per cent higher to $2.21.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 1.27 per cent to 10,422. Shares in Alumina (ASX:AWC )have risen 4.68 per cent and trading at $2.13. Shares in South32 Limited (ASX:S32) and Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Telcos, falling 0.41 per cent to 1,369. Shares in Vocus Group Limited (ASX:VOC) have fallen 5.3 per cent, trading at $2.50. It comes as Vocus Group Limited (ASX:VOC) has announced it has ceased discussions with two prospective bidders, KKR and Affinity Equity Partners. Shares in Spark New Zealand Limited (ASX:SPK) and Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) are also lower.

Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,289 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 79.06 US cents.

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