The Australian share market opened higher following positive leads from Wall Street and is now tracking 0.5 per cent higher at noon. Graincorp's (ASX:GNC) shares are on the rise after their announcement today that they have insured themselves against South Australia's poor grain harvests particularly those struck by drought. Lynas (ASX:LYC) shares have also seen a rise as they presented at a US metals conference today showing an expected reduction in supply with potential China tariffs while demand is increasing. The Energy sector is leading the way and the Consumer Discrectionary sector trailing behind.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 32 points up at 6,415. On the futures market the SPI is 32 points higher.
Construction rates across Australia had their sharpest falls in six years in May as the building of houses and apartments slowed and jobs in the sector continued to trail off, according to a the Australian Industry Group. Overall activity slipped 2.2 points on the previous month to 40.4 - an accelerated decline below the 50-point mark.
The value of new lending commitments to households rose 0.6 per cent in April 2019, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures on new lending to households and businesses.
The rise in new lending to households in April follows a 3.3 per cent fall in March 2019.
Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) has filed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in relation to the removal of land covenants on its Pokeno land in New Zealand. In February last year they bought 28 hectares for a second nutritional powder manufacturing site. In November 2018 the High Court removed covenants over the land which would hinder Synlait’s development of the land. Synlait then took ownership of the land. In May 2019 the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court decision to remove historic covenants. Synlait has reiterated that the plans for the Pokeno site haven’t changed. Shares in Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) are up 3.8 per cent at $8.65.
New Energy Solar (ASX:NEW) says that the Beryl Solar Plant in New South Wales has started commercial operations. The plant is selling electricity under its 15-year power purchase agreement with Sydney Metro. The addition of Beryl’s output increases the operational capacity of the New Energy Solar portfolio by 24 per cent. Shares in New Energy Solar (ASX:NEW) are down 1.6 per cent to $1.25.
Let's take a look at an IPO today we have Viva Leisure (ASX:VVA) issued at $1 opened at $1.15 and is currently at $1.08.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Energy, adding 1.5 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, shedding 0.4 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC), rising 6.3 per cent to $3.86, followed by shares in Lynas Corp (ASX:LYC) and Graincorp (ASX:GNC)
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG),dropping 6.8 per cent to $1.02, followed by shares in Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM).
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng the Shanghai Composite are closed today.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,334 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.2 per cent to US$100.60
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.82 US cents.