Australian share market is tracking 0.3 per cent higher today and is carving its second day of gains for the new financial year, after the broader S&P500 on Wall Street closed at a new record high, on chip makers rallying on the US-China trade truce.
The materials space is the best performer so far this session after the iron ore price hit a new five-high and copper prices hit a six-week high on Monday, after Trump and Xi shook on a tariff trade truce. Meanwhile, Financials are trading in the black, with all of the big four banks trading lower as the new Banking Code of Practice is enforced for the second day.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 19 points higher at 6,667. On the futures market the SPI is 0.3 per cent higher or 21 points higher.
The Reserve Bank is expected to cut the cash rate by a further 25 basis points (0.25 per cent) to 1.00 per cent, at its board meeting today. If the rate is cut to 1 per cent it will be an all-time low. The RBA cut rates in June by 25 basis points (0.25 per cent) to 1.25 per cent.
Citi says amid poultry prices drifting lower, red meat prices rises could provide more scope for poultry prices to move higher as well. Citi made these comments on an Inghams (ASX:ING) research update. Citi’s 12-month price target for ING is $3.85, and it retained its sell rating. It comes as African Swine Fever (ASF) has significantly impacted pig production across Asia and began impacting prices from April 2019 onward. For Australia, wholesale prices of beef and pork prices could rise 10-20 per cent. Its trading 0.5 per cent higher at $4.04.
Communications and IT provider, Speedcast (ASX:SDA) downgraded its 2019 underlying EBITDA upper-guidance-level by US$21 million. It dropped its guidance to be between US$140 million and US$150 million, that’s down from its previous guidance of between US$160 million and US$171 million. It comes as in the first half of 2019 it has seen weaker demand and slower implementation of its existing backlog. It also had delays to some expected revenue from the NBN project. The company purchased Globecomm in December included in its outlook its Globecomm’s EBITDA contribution of US$8-US$10 million. Shares in (ASX:SDA) are trading 37.6 per cent lower at $2.17 at noon.
Small-cap biopharmaceutical company, NeuroScientific (ASX:NSB) has reported breakthrough results from spinal cord injury model, with nerve regeneration exceeding 300 per cent. Its breakthrough study paves the way for a new effective way to treat Alzheimer’s. The study also suggests its drug (EmtinB) can be powerful in helping patients with other neurodegenerative diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s. Shares in NeuroScientific (ASX:NSB) are trading 121 per cent higher at $0.32 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is S&P/ASX Materials, adding 1.03 per cent, while the worst performing sector is S&P/ASX Communication Services, shedding 0.4 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Afterpay Touch Group Limited (ASX:APT), rising 5.7 per cent to $25.78, followed by shares in Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN) and Emeco Holdings Limited (ASX:EHL).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Speedcast International Limited (ASX:SDA),dropping 37.6 per cent to $2.17, followed by shares in Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX) and Webjet (ASX:WEB).
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 1.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,390 an ounce.
Iron ore price surged 4.4 per cent to US$123.65
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.75 US cents.