Vocus swooped on, miners shine on iron ore over $105: ASX steady at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market opened higher, with miners seeing a healthy rally after the iron ore price rose 1.5 per cent to $105.32. The iron ore price is trading 63 per cent higher on a yearly basis and it’s the first time the commodity’s price has hit that level since 2014.

Fortescue (ASX:FMG) is trading 2.5 per cent and Rio (ASX:RIO) is trading about 2 per cent higher.

About over half of the sectors are trading higher today with sentiment buoyed from a positive US close on Friday after US President Donald Trump said the ongoing trade war could be over quickly

US and UK markets will both be closed on Monday for public holidays.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.1 per cent higher or 3 points at 6,459. On the futures market the SPI is 2 point lower.

Company news

Air New Zealand (ASX:AIZ) has dropped its 2019 earnings before taxation guidance, on the back of a $25 million headwind from higher jet fuel prices. The air carrier is now targeting earnings to exceed $340 million, down from the prior range of between $340 to $400 million. That’s assuming the average price for jet fuel in the second half of the year is US$78/bbl, up from the US$75/bbl prior expected price. Earlier today AIZ unveiled plans to buy 8 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft, powered by GE Aviation, which are valued at US$2.7 billion. The fleet is highly fuel-efficient with the potential to save 190,000 tonnes of carbon every year. Shares in Air New Zealand (ASX:AIZ) are trading 0.8 per cent lower at $2.58 at noon.

Mobile church and non-for profit donation app, Pushpay Holdings (ASX:PPH) has been named PwC ‘NZ Hi-Tech Company of The Year’ at the 2019 NZ Hi-Tech Awards. Previous winners include Datacom, Fisher & Paykel Heathcare and Xero (ASX:XRO). Year-to-date Pushpay Holdings (ASX:PPH) shares are trading 17 per cent higher. At noon its flat at $3.63. 

Investment manager, Vanguard has become a substantial holder of Estia Health (ASX:EHE), taking a 5.2 per cent stake in the aged care provider. It comes as last week, Estia Health increased its FY19 EBITDA guidance by 2-4 per cent compared to FY18. Albeit the expected $92 million to $94 million EBITDA is lower than previously anticipated. Year-to-date Estia Health (ASX:EHE) shares are trading 25 per cent higher. At noon its trading 1.7 per cent lower at $2.85 at noon.

Asian markets

Asian markets are trading mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.5 per cent lower, and China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.03 per cent.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is S&P/ASX Materials, adding 1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is S&P/ASX Consumer Staples, shedding 1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Vocus Group Limited (ASX:VOC), rising 18 per cent to $4.59, after it received a $5.25 cash per share takeover from EQT Infrastructure. Shares in Bingo Industries Limited (ASX:BIN) and Appen Limited (ASX:APX) are following higher. 

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Elders Limited (ASX:ELD),dropping 4.3 per cent to $6.22, followed by shares in Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited (ASX:FPH) and Bluescope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,287 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.5 per cent to US$105.32
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.6 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.35 US cents.

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter with Prime7 and Win News.