Australian shares have pushed higher to a new record in early trade despite a mixed lead from the US overnight. The local bourse is up 26 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 6,988. The SPI futures are 14 points up. The rise has resisted the trend of US stocks which fell late in trade on Tuesday following reports that America would likely maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until November despite both sides getting ready to sign a “Phase One” trade deal. All sectors except consumer staples are trading in the green, led by industrials. Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) is trading 2.56 per cent higher after the company announced it had entered an agreement to sell its Ravenswood gold mine. Gold miners Newcrest and Northern Star are also higher by 2.4 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively. Going the other way, Gentrak (ASX:GTK) shares have tumbled 24 per cent to $2.82 after the company said ongoing difficult market conditions continued to weigh on its sales pipeline. And, Pendal (ASX:PDL) is among the worst performers following a broker downgrade.
Credit Suisse has upgraded Metcash (ASX:MTS) to neutral from underperform and says the stock now reflects better value. The target price has been raised to $2.64 from $2.39.
The broker also commented that it is challenging to resolve the competitive issues facing the business and there is no easy solution to the heavy risk weighting applied to the company's food division. Shares in Metcash (ASX:MTS) are 1.3 per cent lower at $2.58.
Shares in gold and base metals explorer Kalamazoo (ASX:KZR) have surged as much as 46 per cent in early trade, after receiving backing from Canadian-listed gold explorer Novo Resources and renowned gold investor Eric Sprott. Both parties have subscribed to 10 million Kalamazoo shares at 40 cents a piece, to raise $8 million. Funds raised will fund exploration and drilling programs at three sites in Victoria. Shares in Kalamazoo (ASX:KZR) are 33.3 per cent higher at 46 cents.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is industrials, adding 0.8 per cent, while the worst sector is consumer staples shedding 0.7 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nufarm (ASX:NUF) rising 8 per cent to $6.42, followed by shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) dropping 7.7 per cent to 36 cents, followed by shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) Western Areas (ASX:WSA).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,547 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 1.1 per cent higher at US$97.03
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.95US cents.