Strong market breaks 6300: ASX tracking 0.8% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market opened jumped up at the open and is now trading 0.8 per cent higher at noon. Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG) is trading slightly lower today after the announcement of the hostile takeover by AP Eagers (ASX:APE). Shareholders are currently advised to not to do anything in relation to this. It's good news for the communications sector with Telstra (ASX:TLS) seeing a good rise today and Vocus (ASX:VOC) up to its highest price since early 2018. Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) are also up - they've risen over 4 per cent. Energy stocks are performing well today as the global price for oil surges after the United States looks set to announce sanctions on Iranian oil imports.

Broker moves

Citi remains cautious on Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) and maintain a sell with target price at $31.18 from $31.12. In their view they are unlikely to make a timely Final Investment Decision on growth projects. This is because its projects don’t have advantages relative to the competition on 1) geopolitics, 2) project progression, 3) sheer economics expansion), or 4) market significance to contract into a portfolio to maintain market share. Shares in Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) are trading 2.33 per cent higher at $36.48.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 48 points up at 6308. On the futures market the SPI is 48 points higher.

Company news

Mining services company Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) has successfully refinanced its revolving credit facilities. The new facilities are provided on a bilateral basis by HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Nedbank, Caterpillar Finance, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs and maintain an aggregate limit of $300 million with the term extended by around 4 years, maturing on 1 July 2023. In addition, the interest rate agreed is lower than under the existing facilities. Shares in Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) are trading 0.4 per cent lower at $1.70.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Energy adding 2.1 per cent, while the sector with the fewest gains is healthcare gaining 0.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX), rising 5.2 per cent to $0.96, followed by shares in Breville Group (ASX:BRG) and Appen (ASX:APX).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Orocobre (ASX:ORE), dropping 3 per cent to $3.27, followed by shares in HUB24(ASX:HUB) and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,276 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 2.6 per cent to US$94.48
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.31 US cents.