The Australian share market has risen at the open following some small positive leads from Wall Street. It is now tracking 1.2 per cent higher at noon. On Friday US and Chinese officials announced they had finally agreed to the phase one agreement after an 18-month trade war. China agreed to billions of dollars in agricultural purchases from the US, while President Donald Trump promised not to pursue a new round of tariffs set for Sunday. The two major economies plan to sign the partial accord in the first week of January.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 83 points up at 6,823. On the futures market the SPI is 80 points higher
Citi has upgraded Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) to a Neutral from a Sell, with a 12-month price target of $0.65, current price is $0.66. They upgrade comes on the back of the decline in the share price and as the company adjusts its financial year 2020 guidance to reflect the Chemist Warehouse contract. Shares in Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) closed 8.7 per cent lower at $0.60.
Starpharma (ASX:SPL) has received a $4.9 million R&D tax incentive refund for the 2019 Financial Year. The refund is in respect of eligible R&D activities across Starpharma’s portfolio, including DEP® and VivaGel®. The Company reports its cash balance for the quarter ended 30 September 2019 at $6.8 million, which did not include this receipt. VivaGel®: Starpharma’s women’s health product - VivaGel® BV is based on SPL7013, astodrimer sodium, a proprietary dendrimer. VivaGel® BV for bacterial vaginosis (BV), is available for sale here and the UK and Europe. A new drug application has been submitted to the US FDA. Shares in Starpharma (ASX:SPL) trading 1.6 per cent higher at $1.29.
OpenPay (ASX:OPY) started trading today. They are a provider of payments technology that offers a Buy Now, Pay Later product. Their issue price was $1.60, they started trading at $1.65 and are currently trading at $1.41.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Healthcare, adding 1.9 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Staples is also in the green rising 0.5 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK) rising 7.7 per cent to $4.06, followed by shares in HUB 24 (ASX:HUB) and Nearmap (ASX:NEA).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Perenti (ASX:PRN), dropping 17.6 per cent to $1.72, followed by shares in Smart Group Corp (ASX:SIQ) and Bravura Solutions ASX:BVS).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,475 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.6 per cent to US$94.63
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.79 US cents.