Driven by strong Wall Street leads the Australian share market leapt to a fresh five year high at open and is 1.3 per cent stronger at noon, with blue chip stocks across the major sectors driving the market upward. Healthcare is leading the gains at the moment, with bio-giant CSL again performing strongly. All major sectors are currently higher.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 69 points up at 5,455. On the futures market the SPI is 59 points higher.
Leisure and entertainment company Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:AAD)
says a strong performance from its health clubs division has helped boost first quarter revenue and earnings. Group revenue rose 19.8 per cent to $126.2 million, aided by the Goodlife health clubs, which generated a 51.6 per cent lift in its revenue. Shares in Ardent Leisure Group are trading up 2.03 per cent at $2.01.
Argo Investments Limited (ASX:ARG)
has warned of weak earnings growth in Australia over the coming year, with companies set to further cut costs due to subdued economic conditions. The investor says banks and materials currently comprise the two biggest segments of its portfolio, headed by a $32.1 million stake in ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
. Shares in Argo are trading up 0.28 per cent at $7.29.
Best and worst performers
All major sectors are higher. The best performer among them is Healthcare gaining 224 points to 14,065. Shares in CSL Limited (ASX:CSL)
have risen 2.74 per cent and trading at $68.29. Shares in Mesoblast limited (ASX:MSB)
and Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX:RHC)
are also stronger.
The sector with the fewest gains is Consumer Discretionary, adding 7 points to 1,825. Shares in Navitas Limited (ASX:NVT)
have fallen 0.79 per cent, trading at $6.24. Shares in David Jones Limited (ASX:DJS)
have slipped despite announcing a new hi-tech store in Melbourne, while Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR)
are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,350 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.9601.