The Aussie share market kicked off the week on a high note, despite Wall Street ending its week lower on Friday. The utilities, energy and the mining sectors are leading most of the sectors higher today, while the consumer discretionary and property sectors trade below the line at noon.
A lift in commodity prices, from aluminium jumping 5 per cent, alumina rising by 17 per cent and iron ore up 0.8 per cent, is also fuelling big gains in the likes of South32 (ASX:S32) which is up over 4 per cent, with Western Areas (ASX:WSA) following suit.
The big four banks are trading higher today while AMP (ASX:AMP) is trading slightly lower amid the royal commission today hearing about financial adviser misconduct.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 25 points up or 0.44 per cent at 5,854. On the futures market the SPI is 19 points higher.
Local economic news
Housing finance excluding alterations and additions rose by 1.3 per cent in February while commercial and lease finance fell over 2 per cent when compared to January in seasonally adjusted terms.
The a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) has expanded its Asian foot print and entered the South Korean market. It comes as it inked an exclusive sales and distribution agreement with Yuhan Corporation to promote and distribute its a2MC’s branded products in South Korea. Yuhan is the leading pharmaceutical company in South Korea with annual revenue of US$1.4 billion. The companies will together launch a range of dairy nutritional products with only the A2 beta casein protein type that Koreans can consume for their health and well-being. a Milk says it’s also an attractive market, as it has high per capita dairy consumption and a fast-growing e-commerce channel. Shares in The a2 Milk Company are trading 0.6 per cent higher at $11.67.
Wealth management platform, OneVue Holdings (ASX:OVH) completed the purchase of KPMG’s superannuation member admin business for $6.5 million, which will make it the fourth largest superannuation member administrator in the market. The purchase will also catapult OneVue’s funds under administration to over $4 million with 130,000 members and 38 superannuation funds. The purchase was funded out of OneVue’s cash and the transaction will be immediate accretive to earnings. Its shares are trading 1.4 per cent higher at $0.73.
Tao Commodities (ASX:TAO) started trading today. The company identifies, develops, and acquires mineral exploration projects. It floated with an issue price of 20 cents , opened at 24 cents and its trading at 24.5 cents
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is utilities adding 1.4 per cent to 7,423 points while the worst performing sector is consumer discretionary, shedding 0.2 per cent to 2,202 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA), rising 4.2 per cent to $3.48, followed by shares in South32 Limited (ASX:S32) and Alumina Limited (ASX:AWC).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM), dropping 8.2 per cent to $0.52 followed by shares in Perpetual Limited (ASX:PPT) after it reported its FUM fell by $2.6 billion in the March quarter and Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited (ASX:DMP).
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.8 per cent.
To gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,347 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.74 US cents.
Bitcoin trade at US$8,271, Ethereum is at US$525 and Ripple is at US$0.67.