Mining companies shine: Aus shares 0.7% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market broke its downward trend and has gained 0.7 per cent on Thursday after it has fallen for the last four trading sessions.

Most sectors are trading higher with Healthcare far out in front, up 2 per cent, with Staples and Materials up about 1 per cent after the iron ore price sits around $74.06 while gold hit a two-week high on the back the US dollar seeing weakness on the back of concerns about the pace of Fed rate hikes.

Coupled with that Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) shares are about 24 per cent higher upon announcing US lithium play major, Albermarle will potentially buy a 50 per cent stake in the Wodgina Lithium project for US$1.15 billion and form a JV to produce spodumene concentrate and lithium hydroxide.

Energy is also making gains after the oil price started to claw back, rising two per cent.

Broker moves

Citi issued an alert for BHP (ASX:BHP) saying the heavyweight is moving to be more a value/counter-cyclical investor while it has also strengthened its balance sheets and reduced its debt by US$15 billion in the last two years. Citi has the stock as a buy with a 12-month price target of $37.50. It’s trading almost 1 per cent higher at $31.91.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.7 per cent or 40 points AT 5,683. On the futures market the SPI is 36 points lower.

Company news

Gold play, Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) is reiterating its confidence in its outlook, maintaining its increased production guidance for FY2019 will be 325,000 to 345,000 ounce. It comes as the company held its AGM today. Over the last four years, its market cap has grown from $200 million to $2 billion, while its production has grown from 140,000 ounces to over 300,000 ounces. Shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) are trading 0.6 per cent lower at $2.64 at noon. Over the year its shares have gained 77 per cent.

RCR Tomlinson (ASX:RCR) has not been able to secure additional funding and announced it appointed administrators last night. Year-on-year (YOY) its shares are trading 73 per cent lower. It last traded at $0.87.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Health Care adding 2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, shedding 0.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), rising 23.5 per cent to 15.37, followed by shares in The A2 Milk Company Limited (ASX:A2M) and Bellamy's Australia Limited (ASX:BAL).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:AAD), dropping 2.7 per cent to $1.45, followed by shares in Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,226 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.8 per cent to US$74.06, its futures are pointing to a rise 2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.65 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has gained 3.9 per cent to US$4,583, Ethereum is up by 6 per cent to US$136 and EOS is about 4 per cent higher to US$3.81.