The Australian share market opened higher, extending its gains from Friday.
Most of the sectors are making gains with Utilities leading, up 0.8 per cent and Healthcare down almost 1 per cent after Scott Morrison announced a shake-up of the aged care sector.
Rural Funds Group (ASX:RFF) has been re-rated as a buy by Bell Potter, with a price target of $2.38 (it previously had a price target of $2.16).
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.1 per cent higher or 5 points up at 6,170.
On the futures market the SPI is 43 points higher.
Lithium stock market daring of 2017, Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) advised it’s on track for its first shipment of spodumene concentrate from its Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum project in Western Australia and has achieved what they are saying is ‘exceptional’ quality. The first load is due to ship from 20 September after the miner has been ramping up production. Its offtake partner, General Lithium says conversion from Pilbara Minerals has achieved battery grade lithium carbonate. Shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) have broken above their 21 day moving average price and are trading 5.9 per cent higher at $0.81 at noon.
Aged care provider, Estia Health (ASX:EHE) has responded to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison’s calls for a Royal Commission into the sector. The CEO of Estia welcomes scrutiny into the sector and measures that will help improve resident safety and care. The company recently saw a fund manager, Perpetual increase their stake in the company to about 12 per cent. And that followed the announcement that deputy CEO Ian Thorley will succeed Nora Barlow as the CEO in November. Shares in Estia Health (ASX:EHE) have fallen to 2016 levels, and are trading 17.3 per cent lower at $2.44 at noon.
Exploration and development company, Vintage Energy (ASX:VEN) started trading today. It floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.23 and its trading at $0.22.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Utilities adding 1.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Healthcare, shedding 1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS), rising 5.9 per cent to $0.81, followed by shares in Metcash Limited (ASX:MTS) and Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Estia Health Limited (ASX:EHE), dropping 17.3 per cent to $2.44, followed by shares in AVEO Group (ASX:AOG) and Speedcast International Limited (ASX:SDA).
Japan’s Nikkei not trading, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.7 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,195 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.8 per cent to US$67.68 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.54 US cents.
Bitcoin has gained 0.03 per cent to US$6,520, Ethereum has gained about 1.5 per cent to US$223.