Strong start: Aus shares 0.3% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

Despite a soft lead from the US markets, the Australian share market opened higher, and has traded within a 30 point range, currently sitting around 5665.

The best performing sector at midday is Financials, with Industrials going the other way.

The S&P/ASX 200 is now tracking 0.3 per cent higher at an increase of 16 points to 5,671 points.

On the futures market the SPI is 12 points higher.

Asian markets are tracking lower. Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.5 per cent.

Company news

Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) announced it has received all necessary approvals from gambling regulatory authorities for its proposed combination with Tatts (ASX:TTS). The pre-implementation approvals from authorities in various states and territories have been engaged with over the last 10 months, as Tabcorp sought approvals for the merger with Tatts. The ASX has notified Tabcorp it has granted conditional approval of new Tabcorp shares. Assessments for the proposed group including subsidiaries, directors, officers and associates have been completed. The merger between Tabcorp and Tatts is worth around $11 billion. Shares in Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) are trading 2 per cent higher at $4.33.

Eagle Health (ASX:EHH) announced it has obtained a licence agreement with Omni Innovation to manufacture, market and distribute its pre-meal shake product intended for people with type 2 diabetes. The company, which distributes nutritional products, said it is leveraging Australian ingredients and brands into the Chinese market. Omni Innovation is known for creating medical nutrition products to be used by people with chronic and lifestyle conditions. It is estimated that by 2018 over 120 million people in China will suffer from type 2 diabetes, prospectively increasing to 160 million by 2030. Shares in Eagle Health (ASX:EHH) last traded at 37 cents.

To the best and worst performers: The best performing sector is Financials, gaining 0.86 per cent to 6,416. Shares in NIB Holdings have risen 5.01 per cent and trading at $5.98. Shares in BTT and Suncorp are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Industrials, falling 0.76 per cent to 5,608. Shares in Brambles have fallen 2.98 per cent, trading at $8.95. Shares in Seven West and ALS are also lower.

Finally, to gold and the dollar: Gold is trading at US$1,297 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 79.19 US cents.

Kathy Skantzos

Finance News Network
Kathy presents the Market Outlook and ASX company news. She joined FNN in September 2017. She has been in print and online journalism for over 9 years. She also worked in corporate communications.