Back at 10-year highs: Aus shares 0.6% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market has bounced back to where it was last Tuesday, after gaining for the third straight trading day, with most sectors making gains at noon and financials leading the rally and Westpac (ASX:WBC) leading the big four higher. 

Blackmores (ASX:BKL) shares hit a six month high after announcing their results and a 19 per cent lift in profit. It’s trading 9.7 per cent higher.

Broker upgrades

We’ve seen Adairs (ASX:ADH) upgraded by three brokers to a buy (Goldman Sachs, Morgans and UBS) after Adairs announced record sales, profits and dividends. Adairs trades 2.1 per cent.

Brambles (ASX:BXB) was downgraded to Neutral from an outperform position after announcing their attributable profit for FY18 rose over 290 per cent to $747 million. It's trading 1.4 per cent higher.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 40 points or 0.6 per cent higher at 6,309. On the futures market, the SPI is 42 points higher.

Company news

Lithium major, Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) inked a deal to sell a package of tenements for US$280 million to a South Korean steel-making company, POSCO. The proceeds will be used to advance its Sal de Vida project in Argentina, which is in the ‘lithium-triangle’, home to 60 per cent of the world’s annual production of lithium from brines. The transaction should settle in the fourth quarter with Galaxy retaining a 100 per cent interest in their tenements on the southern area of the Catamarca Province (Salar del Hombre Muerto). Shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) are trading 2.71 per cent higher at $2.85 at noon. 

Machine learning software company, Appen (ASX:APX) reported its profit for the half-year ending 30 June 2018, rose 73 per cent to $14 million, while its revenues rose over 106 per cent to $152.8 million. Its dividend for the half year firmed 33 per cent higher compared to the same period last year, to 4 cents per share. Shares in Appen (ASX:APX) are trading 7.36 per cent at $15.18.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Financials adding 1.2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Telco Services, shedding 2.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Blackmores (ASX:BKL), rising 9.7 per cent to $159.29, followed by shares in Appen Limited (ASX:APX) and Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Speedcast International (ASX:SDA), dropping 32.04 per cent to $4.56 (after reporting its half-year results and plans to buy Globecomm for US$135 million. Following is Caltex Australia (ASX:AWC) and Alumina (ASX:AWC).

Asian markets

Higher: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.8 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has risen slightly, 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,210 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 1.8 per cent to US$65.84 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.38 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has gained 3.2 per cent to US$6,921, Ethereum has gained 4.3 per cent to US$287 and EOS has gained 8.4 per cent to US$5.36, in the last 24 hours.