Good start to week for ASX: Aus shares 0.6% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Ana Neves

The Australian share market opened higher this morning on the back of positive Wall Street leads from the weekend and is now tracking 0.6 per cent higher at noon.

Most of the sectors are in the black with Healthcare leading the rally with Energy, Property and Materials all adding about 1 per cent or more. While Financials are seeing some selling with Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) shedding over 6 per cent.

Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) has seen a 8.6 per cent lift in its shares on the back of announcing a 33 per cent rise in gold production in the March quarter.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 34 points higher at noon at 6,216 points. On the futures market the SPI is 40 points higher.

Company news

Metals and electronics recycling company, Sims Metals Management (ASX:SGM) has announced it will ‘likely see (its) dividend payout ratio fall’, while paying fully franked dividends. It’s also restricting its balance sheet and targeting $100 million average net cash. Meantime, the company says it’s five business units are positioned well to benefit from the global mega trend of reducing waste and preserving the planet. Coupled with that, the business is targeting a 15 per cent return on growth projects requiring capital. Sims Metals Management plans to grow its metal volumes by 1.3 times over by FY25 and double its non-ferrous business by FY25. Non-ferrous metals are low weight and have a good resistance to corrosion. Among its other initiatives Sims plans to convert waste to energy by FY22 and will scale up its capacity in this space by FY25. Shares in Sims Metals Management (ASX:SGM) are trading 3.2 per cent lower at $11.36 at noon

A strategic alliance project with AusQuest (ASX:AOD) and BHP’s (ASX:BHP) spin off company South32 (ASX:S32) has kicked off copper drilling at Yallum Hill in Western Australia. The prospect is 350 kilometres north-east of Wiluna and is part of a regional program to assess copper-gold deposits. The drilling will take about two weeks, with assays available up to four weeks after drilling has been completed. Shares in South32 (ASX:S32) are trading 1.1 per cent higher at $3.86 at noon.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is S&P/ASX 200 Health Care adding 1.5 per cent, while the worst performing sector is S&P/ASX 200 Financials, shedding 0.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG), rising 8.6 per cent to $1.27, followed by shares in Ardent Leisure Group Limited (ASX:ALG) and Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Domain Holdings Australia (ASX:DHG), dropping 6.6 per cent to $2.85, followed by shares in Platinum Asset Management Limited (ASX:PTM) and Sims Metal Management Limited (ASX:SGM).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei is 0.04 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.9 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,296 an ounce.
Iron ore price is steady at US$92.90.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.98 US cents.