The Australian share market opened higher and continues to remain steady following better than expected trade headlines. Asian stocks extended a rally with equities in Japan and South Korea advancing, while futures suggest China and Hong Kong will also build on gains. This was due to a reduction in fears over the US trade war with China. Commodities also continue to rally. Back home the materials sector is leading the way and the healthcare sector trailing behind. Costa Group Holdings and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) are doing well but TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM),and Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) are seeing a slump.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.4 per cent higher or 25 points up at 6186. On the futures market the SPI is eyeing a fall of 15 points.
National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) has cut executive bonuses as it continues to bolster customer trust amid the fallout of the financial services royal commission. The CEO’s “at target” total reward is $7.94 million, which is $1.05 million less than in 2017. Total CEO reward for this year, at target levels, is reduced by approximately 11 per cent compared to 2017 and 18 per cent compared to 2016, and it will be dependent on business and individual performance. Shares in NAB 0.27 per cent higher at $27.70
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is materials adding 1.84 per cent, while the worst performing sector is healthcare, shedding 0.95 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC), rising 6.2 per cent to $6.95, followed by shares in Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM), dropping 5.6 per cent to $8.23, followed by shares in Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) and Smartgroup Corporation (ASX:SIQ).
Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,199 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 2.5 per cent to US$69.82 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.17 US cents.
Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher. Bitcoin has gained 1.3 per cent to US$6358, Ethereum gained about 1.2 per cent to US$212 and EOS is 5 per cent at $5.12.