The Australian share market bounced higher at the open, defying Wall Street's negative close (where we saw the Dow Jones make a huge recovery after falling over 400 points, with renewed hopes China and the US are continuing to negotiate on a trade deal).
The local bourse is now tracking 0.8 per cent higher at noon. Miners are leading most of the sectors higher with heavy weights like Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) up over 6 per cent and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) up 2.6 per cent after Brazilian miner Vale, had a court halt its Brucutu iron ore mining complex. Vale now expects its 2019 sales of iron ore and pellets to be at the low to mid-end of its previous guidance of 307 million tonnes to 332 million tonnes.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 51 points higher at 6,335. On the futures market the SPI is 60 points higher.
Local economic news
Australia retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in March, more than the 0.2 per cent consensus expectation.
Meantime, Australia’s trade surplus rose to $4.9 billion in March, stronger than $4.3 billion consensus expectation.
All eyes this afternoon will be on the 2.30pm interest rate decision, with consensus expecting rates will hold at 1.5 per cent for the 30th time, or for 2.5 years. It comes as CPI’s last reading in March quarter wasn’t strong enough and inflation has remained at 1.3 per cent, below the RBA’s target range. Although the likelihood of a cash rate cut over coming months remains high.
We heard from the Labor leader Bill Shorten overnight on his plans to scrap franking credits, or the double tax on dividends on ABC’s Q&A. Mr Shorton said he would simply be removing a ‘gift’. "When you get an income tax cheque in the mail and haven't paid income tax, it's a gift".
Mr Shorten also spoke about his stance on Labor’s plan to curb negative gearing by stopping new investors who buy houses from deducting rental losses from their income tax, which would save $2.9 billion over four years. If he is elected, Mr Shorten said from January 1 in 2020, Labor would simply stop giving people “a subsidy for you making a loss on an investment property…It just means you're not getting a new subsidy."
Financial services platform provider, Hub24 (ASX:HUB) has been downgraded to a sell by Citi, while the broker dropped its 12 month price target for Hub24 from $13.60 to $13.35. Citi however says Hub24 is a key beneficiary towards the structural shift towards specialist platform providers and it forecasts Hub24 will triple its market share over the next five years. Its shares have gone about 25 per cent since the first half 2019 results. Shares in Hub24 (ASX:HUB) are trading 2.6 per cent lower at $14.66 at noon.
Gold and mineral small cap explorer De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) has announced positive ore sorting results from the Toweranna gold deposit in the Pilbara in Western Australia. Shares in De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) are trading 5 per cent higher at $0.08 at noon.
Mineral exploration company, Mont Royal Resources Limited (ASX:MRZ) started trading today, floating with an issue price of $0.20, opening at $0.23 and now trading at $0.22.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is S&P/ASX Materials, adding 1.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Staples, adding 0.2 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG), rising 6.6 per cent to $7.62, followed by shares in Domain Holdings Australia Limited (ASX:DHG) and Bingo Industries Limited (ASX:BIN).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Graincorp Limited (ASX:GNC),dropping 6.5 per cent to $8.20, followed by shares in Nrw Holdings Limited (ASX:NWH) and Hub24 Limited (ASX:HUB).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,283 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.2 per cent to US$94.34
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.9 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.02 US cents.