The Australian share market is extending its rally from yesterday, with local tech stocks bouncing back, with Xero (ASX:XRO) gaining 7.5 per cent. Tech stocks on Wall Street also upped their ante, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq gaining 2.2 per cent, with Facebook shares soaring on the back of record profit, while the broader indices also gained after the US Federal Reserve advised it will be ‘patient’ on future interest rate moves.
Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) rating was upgraded by Citi, to a neutral and its shares gained 3 per cent, while Rio (ASX:RIO) was giving a price target of $93 per share, in the wake of Vale’s dam collapse. RIO shares are trading almost 1 per cent higher.
Also overnight, nickel led base metal prices higher, with markets assessing the implication for nickel production also after the dam collapse.
The S&P/ASX 200 index
The market is 0.1 per cent or 8 points higher at 5,894 at noon, leaving the market about 6.1 per cent higher this year, with the market now trading at two-month highs.
On the futures market the SPI is 2 points higher.
Local economic news
Australia’s total loans outstanding loans rose 4.3 per cent, year-on-year to December 2018, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), that’s less than the 4.5 per cent expected, and also less than the 4.8 per cent recorded in the same time last year.
Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) shot to the top as one of the star ASX performers today after upgrading its production guidance on the back of a better than expected production in the first half of 2019. Its FY19 guidance increased from 28 to 29 MMboe, up from the prior guidance of 25 to 27MMboe. It also upped its second half 2019 forecasted output. Beach Energy shares are trading 7.6 per cent higher at $1.83 at noon, that’s a three-month high.
Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) shares are also trading at three-month highs, after it announced record quarterly revenue from Australia Pacific LNG of $741 million as at 31 December 2018. That’s a 45 per cent jump compared to the same quarter in 2017. The business says it benefited from higher commodity prices and favourable movements in the exchange rate, while it also kept production levels at a steady-state. Shares in Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) are trading 1.5 per cent higher at $7.28 at noon.
Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) has announced its net revenue rose slightly [1 per cent] in the first half of FY19, compared to the first half of FY18. Meantime, for its second quarter (last three months to 31 December 2018) its net revenue rose 16 per cent. Its FY19 interim financial results (H1 FY19) are due to be released on 21 February 2019. Shares in Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN) are trading steady at $0.46 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Materials adding 1.2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trusts, shedding 1.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT), rising 7.6 per cent to $1.83, followed by shares in Independence Group Nl (ASX:IGO) and XERO LIMITED (ASX:XRO).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Syrah Resources Limited (ASX: SYR), dropping 7 per cent to $1.62, followed by shares in Ardent Leisure Group Limited (ASX:ALG) and Janus Henderson Group Plc (ASX: JHG).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,318 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 4.9 per cent to US$82.53
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.54 US cents.