The Australian share has snapped its two day losing streak and had a stellar gain of over one per cent in the first two hours of trade, with telcos again shining after Telstra (ASX:TLS) extended its upward surge, rising 2.4 per cent, taking it back closer to its 50-day moving average.
All sectors are higher today, not only as we had positive leads from Wall Street after the S&P500 gained and the tech heavy Nasdaq etched a fresh record closed, but oil continued to rally and energy companies are again shining with Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) up 3.5 per cent.
We are also seeing the banks collect strong gains with three of the big four rising over 1 per cent and NAB (ASX:NAB) up the least. Menatime, fund manager Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) is up over 3 per cent while the Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) is close behind.
Miners are enjoying the iron price lift 2.2 per cent to US$68.49, with its futures suggesting a dip of 0.6 per cent. BHP (ASX:BHP) approved $US2.9 billion injection into a new iron ore mine in WA’s Pilbara region. It will replace the 80 mega tonne Yandi mine, which is nearing the end of economic life. BHP will have a 85 per cent stake in the project, with its partners funding the rest of the overall $US3.4 billion project. It’s trading 0.6 per cent higher.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 70 points or 1.2 per cent higher at 6,087. On the futures market the SPI is 71 points higher.
Kogan (ASX:KGN) chief executive Ruslan Kogan and chief financial officer David Shafer reduced their majority holdings in the company, taking profits after the company has grown from a $1.61 stock one year ago, to where it is today, with the online retailer now getting into whitegoods and built-in kitchens. CEO Ruslan Kogan reduced his holding from about 46 per cent to 41 per cent, selling his shares are $7.00 per share. David Shafer the CFO reduced his stake from about 14 per cent to 12 per cent, also selling down at the same strike price $7.00. At noon Kogan (ASX:KGN) are trading 2.5 per cent higher at $7.44
Business transformation company, Trimantum GrowthOps (ASX:TGO) which was one of the biggest tech IPOs of last year, announced it’s a step closer to taking over Asia Pacific Digital (APD) (ASX:DIG) for about $20 million. APD is an Asian digital transformation company, with 300 staff across Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. The recommended takeover offer involves 1 TGO share for every 8.9 APD shares, based on TGO’s closing price of $1.23 from 14 June 2018, and that’s a 133 per cent premium for APD. Trimantum GrowthOps (ASX:TGO) shares last traded at $1.23.
AGL (ASX:AGL) received some extra backing today from a heavyweight fund manager, after Vanguard Group became a major holder in the company, buying over 5 per cent of AGL’s shares. Shares in AGL (ASX:AGL) are trading 1 per cent higher at $21.66
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is telcos adding 2.5 per cent, while sector with the least gains is healthcare, gaining 0.5 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bellamy's Australia Limited (ASX:BAL), rising 5.6 per cent to $17.11, followed by shares in Wisetech Global Limited (ASX:WTC) and Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Retail Food Group Limited (ASX:RFG), dropping 3.5 per cent to $0.56, followed by shares in Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) and Primary Health Care Limited (ASX:PRY).
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.04 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,303 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.63 US cents.
Bitcoin trades at US$6,615, Ethereum is at US$515 and EOS has gained about 9 per cent to US$11.06