The Australian stock market has continued its rally for the second day, and now the ASX200 is back in 10-year record territory. From the open, we had mostly positive Wall Street leads after Morgan Stanley’s stock surged 1.8 per cent, while a basket of metal prices gained, with the zinc price lifting the most in a year. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.4 per cent or 24 points higher at 6,269 points at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 23 points higher.
At noon most of the sectors are trading higher with industrials leading after CIMIC (ASX:CIM) jumped 13 per cent by while miners have also continued their rally.
Infrastructure and mining services company, CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) announced its net profit after tax rose 12 per cent year-on-year to $363 million in the 2018 half year (to 30 June 2018), while it also saw solid revenue growth of 11 per cent year-on-year to $6.9 billion. Its half-year dividend jumped almost 20 per cent to 70 cents per share (it will be paid in October). It also confirmed full-year net profit after tax guidance of between $720 million to $780 million. At noon its shares are 12.7 per cent higher at $48.25 at noon.
Buy now, pay later company Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) has announced record quarterly revenue of $13.2 million (for the period ending 30 June 2018), a rise of almost 20 per cent on the prior quarter. In the quarter it also brought Super Retail Group (ASX:SRG) onboard and Westfarmers Officeworks (ASX:WES), while Tiger Airways, (which is a part of Virgin (ASX:VAH)) officially went live on Zip’s platform in June. Shares in Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) are trading 2.39 per cent lower at $1.02 at noon.
And another buy now, pay later company, Afterpay (ASX:APT) announced its sales (total underlying sales, processed through its app) rose about 290 per cent on FY17 to $2.18 billion in the fourth quarter of the 30 June financial year. It comes after it had a strong start in the US in June, while its total platform customers also hit 2.2 million and its onboard retailers hit about 17,000. Shares in Afterpay (ASX:APT) are trading 15.4 per cent higher at $12.60.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Industrials adding 1.2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Utilities shedding 0.98 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Afterpay Touch Group Limited (ASX:APT), rising 15.4 per cent to $12.60, followed by shares in CIMIC Group Limited (ASX:CIM) and Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bega Cheese Limited (ASX:BGA), dropping 4.4 per cent to $7.66 (after annoucing plans to buy the Koroit dairy plant yesterday), followed by shares in Evolution Mining Limited (ASX:EVN) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST).
Higher at noon: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has risen 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.6 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,225 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.8 per cent to US$65.24 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.31 US cents.
Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin has fallen 0.8 per cent to US$7,308, Ethereum has shed about 6.1 per cent to US$474 and EOS has fallen 6.2 per cent to US$8.39.