Business conditions rise in May: ASX tracking 2.4% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

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The Australian share market shot up at the open and is now tracking almost 2.4 per cent higher at noon. The banks are boosting the market today. The NAB (ASX:NAB), Westpac (ASX:WBC) and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) all rose up over 6 per cent.The aussie dollar continues to rally and the iron ore price is up almost 5 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 144 points up at 6,143. On the futures market the SPI is 50 points higher.

Local economic news

The latest NAB Business survey shows that business conditions, while still negative, rose 10 points in May. Confidence jumped 25 points, although it still sits in negative territory.

Broker moves

Credit Suisse rates Worley (ASX:WOR) as an Upgrade to an Outperform from a Neutral. They say the company has had more exposure to less volatile industries and a recovery in the next 6-12 months is expected. Worley is now less exposed to oil & gas capital projects but has a higher exposure to oil & gas customer operating activities. There is also around 37 per cent of revenue emanating from the chemical sector.Target price is $10.50. Shares in Worley (ASX:WOR) are 10.97 per cent higher at $10.32.

Company news

Oil Search (ASX:OSH) has obtained an interim injunction from the National Court of Papua New Guinea, allowing trading to commence on the PNG National Stock Exchange (PNGX). The court order lifted a suspension put in place on June 2 at the direction of PNG's Securities Commission. Shares in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) is trcking 4.6 per cent higher at $3.75.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Financials gaining 4.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Healthcare losing 1.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) rising 14.2 per cent to $17.57, followed by shares in Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) and Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) dropping 7.4 per cent to $1.44, followed by shares in Xero (ASX:XRO) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN).

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.4 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.1 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite has added 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,698 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 4.9 per cent higher at US$105.67.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a fall of 0.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70US cents.