The Australian share market rose at the open then took a dip before midday. It recovered slightly and is now tracking 0.5 per cent higher at noon. GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) has seen their shares slide after reporting an underlying net loss after tax of $48 million for the half year due to drought in Eastern Australia. Shares in construction company Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC) also fell after reporting underlying net profit after tax for the year to be 10-15 per cent lower. Qantas (ASX:QAN) shares are on the up after reporting their third quarter revenue up 2.3 per cent to $4.4 billion versus prior corresponding period. They have also reached an agreement with Melbourne Airport for the sale of the airline’s domestic terminal. Explosive company Orica (ASX:ORI) shares rose over 7 per cent after reporting NPAT up 35 per cent for the half year. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 28 points up at 6,297. On the futures market the SPI is 29 points higher.
Lithium developer and takeover target, Kidman Resources (ASX:KDR) has advised that Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) now has until no later than 29 May 2019 ‘to conduct confirmatory due diligence’ on the company. Last week (2 May 2019) Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) made a $776 million takeover offer, offering to snap up the company for $1.90 per share. That’s a 47.3 per cent premium to Kidman’s closing price on 1 May 2019. And today at Kidman’s AGM, it also advised it’s ‘determined’ to take the offer to shareholders, so they can cast their votes. Shares in Kidman Resources (ASX:KDR) are trading 1.9 per cent lower at $1.91 at noon.
Rio Tinto's (ASX:RIO) AGM is currently underway in Perth with chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques noting the biggest return to shareholders this year of US $13.5 billion. The company has also awarded a five year contract to provide maintenance to their Iron Ore’s Pilbara rail network in Western Australia to Indigenous-owned contractor Yurra. The $20 million contract is intended to grow Yurra as a business while also bringing benefits to the wider community. Shares in Rio Tinto's (ASX:RIO) are 0.5 per cent lower at $95.48.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Telecommunications services, adding 2.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Materials, shedding 0.2 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Orica (ASX:ORI), rising 5.6 per cent to $0.00, followed by shares in Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) and Washington H Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC), dropping 7.2 per cent to $3.89, followed by shares in Fletcher Building (ASX:FBU) and Graincorp (ASX:GNC).
Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.6 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.5 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,280 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.6 per cent to US$95.57
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.73 US cents.