Back at 2008 highs: Aus shares 0.3% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is enjoying its first day of trade post Christmas and the ASX200 is back in record territory at 2008 highs. Mostly all the sectors are trading higher with Energy leading after oil jumped 2.6 per cent after an Libyan oil pipeline blast, its best close since 2015. 

Mining companies are also enjoying the rally after the iron ore price gained over the week, with the likes of St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) as some of the front runners, gaining over 4 per cent.

While Gloria Jeans and Brumby's Bakery owner, Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) gained the most today.

Despite that, we are only seeing a small amount of trades today, 121 million, just a fraction of normal volume with a lot of lucky people still being on holidays.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 18 points/up at 6,088.

On the futures market the SPI is 13 points higher.

Company news

Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) has extended its rally from last week and shot to top as top 200 performer, gaining over 11 per cent today at one point, after it extended and sweetened its debt facilities. Its three year debt facility of $150 million was renegotiated into two tranches, with $100 million and $50 million, maturing in 2020. Meantime it reduced its existing five year debt facilities maturing in December 2020 by $25 million, taking its total senior debt facilities to $319 million. At noon, Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) shares were trading 8.7 per cent higher at $2.50.

Corporate Advisory, and equities and asset management firm, Moelis Australia (ASX:MOE) has increased its stake in property fund and developer, Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI) to 12.60 per cent, up from 9.68 per cent. The consideration came in at about $18.6 million. Shares in Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI) are trading flat $1.46.

Qantas (ASX:QAN) made its way as one of the biggest losers so far this session after global fund manager, Blackrock Group and its subsidiaries sold out of their substantial holding in the flying kangaroo. Shares in Qantas (ASX:QAN) are trading 1.7 per cent lower at $5.10.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Energy, gaining 0.8 per cent to 10,866. Shares in Retail Food Group (ASX: RFG) have risen 8.7 per cent to $2.50. Shares in St Barbara (ASX: SBM) and Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Utilites, falling 0.1 per cent to 8,322. Shares in Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) have fallen 2.7 per cent, trading at $0.63. Shares in Chorus (ASX:CNU) and Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings (ASX:NEC) are also lower.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,283 an ounce and one Australian dollar is buying 77.32 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has gained 16 per cent to $16,350
Ethereum gained about 2 per cent to $785
And Litecoin has added 5 per cent to $287