The Australian share market opened higher this morning and is now tracking 0.5 per cent higher at noon. It's on the rise ahead of the Hayne's report due for release at 4:00pm today. Banks are bracing themselves despite seeing an upwards turn this morning. Building company Boral's (ASX:BLD) shares have taken a hit after they showed their profit in Australia was less than expected. Delays in projects, volume lags and extreme rainfalls all had an impact in Australia. EBITDA growth from Boral North America offset by lower earnings in Australia and a lower contribution from USG Boral.
Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and WorleyParsons (ASX:WOR) are doing well today.The Energy sector is leading the way and the Healthcare sector is trailing behind. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 27 points up at 5890. On the futures market the SPI is 27 points higher.
Local economic news
Building approvals fell 8.4 per cent in December 2018 in seasonally terms, on the back of a 18.8 per cent slump in private dwellings (excluding houses). It came as surprise to the market, as consensus expected approvals to rise 1.8 per cent.
Litigation funding provider, IMF Bentham (ASX:IMF) etched gross revenue of $9.1 million in the December 2018 quarter, with 11 new unconditionally funded investments being added to the portfolio, with a total enterprise value (EPV) of $672 million. As at the end of the quarter IMF’s approved investments totalled 91, with a total EPV of $7.6 billion. Shares in IMF Bentham (ASX:IMF) are trading 1.9 per cent lower at $3.05 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Energy adding 1.4 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Healthcare,shedding 0.2 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) rising 5.2 per cent to $1.52, followed by shares in Worley Parsons (ASX:WOR) and Medibank Private (ASX:MPL).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Boral (ASX:BLD), dropping 7.3 per cent to $4.58, followed by shares in IOOF Holdings (ASX:IFL) and AMP (ASX:AMP).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,316 an ounce.
Iron ore has risen 0.2 per cent to $85.53. It's futures are pointing to a rise of 6.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.34 US cents.