Following a Wall Street rally with the S&P 500 hitting a fresh record, the Australian share market shot up at the open, rising about 0.4 per cent just in the first 30 minutes of trade and is now tracking 0.74 per cent up at noon.
Gains in banks and miners are leading the charge, while industrials are being weighed down by transportation stocks and consumer staples have seen drops in Woolworths and Treasury Wines.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 42 points up at 5756. On the futures market the SPI is 39 points higher.
Japan’s Nikkei has added almost 1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has fallen 0.06 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.05 per cent.
In the wake of Slater and Gordon’s (ASX:SGH) operational and strategic review, 7 per cent of its employees will be axed, with a number of its office locations to also be ‘impacted’. The embattled law says, it will make the necessary cost reductions and structural changes to ensure the business has a sustainable future. Meantime, Slater and Gordon says it will maintain the ‘majority’ of its existing office network. Shares in Slater and Gordon are trading up 2.9 per cent at $0.07.
Pancontiential Oil and Gas (ASX:PCL) have entered into a trading halt pending the completion of a material transaction. The junior oil and gas company’s transaction relates to an investment in one of the company’s subsidiaries. Its shares are set to start trading again after the transaction is completed or by 14 September 2017. It comes just a week after the firm had its most significant gas show to date at one of its sites. Shares in Pancontinental last traded 0.3c
The best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Financials excluding REITS, gained 1.6 per cent to 7123. Shares in Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) have risen 3.04 per cent and trading at $87.74. Shares in QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 0.87 per cent to 9185. Shares in Santos (ASX:STO) have fallen 1.77 per cent, trading at $3.88. Shares in Caltex Autstralia (ASX:CTX) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) are also lower.
CropLogic Limited (ASX:CLI) started trading today. The decision support system for agricultural growers floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.16 and is currently trading at $0.16.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,326 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying $US80.04.