The Australian share market opened higher and is tracking 0.6% higher at noon, buoyed by a strong performance from the Healthcare sector which is up around 1.9 per cent, and some positive retail turnover figures.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 34 points higher at 6,067. On the futures market the SPI is 33 points higher.
Australian retail turnover climbed 16.9 per cent in May (seasonally adjusted), according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade figures. This was in line with the market’s expectation after a 17.7 per cent decline in April. Retail trade appears to be recovering amidst the easing of social distancing regulations and the re-opening of physical stores.
Citi rates ship builder, Austal (ASX:ASB) as a buy with a 12 month price target of $4.23. The broker believes the market is under appreciating the company's ability to win new work with the US Navy. Shares in Austal (ASX:ASB) are trading 3.1 per cent higher at $3.31 at noon.
Medical cannabis supplier, Cann Group (ASX:CAN) has been awarded a grant for up to $1.975 million under the Regional Jobs Fund established by the Victorian Government. Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes has confirmed the grant which will be used to fund electricity upgrades at the company’s Mildura facility. The facility is expected to bring 150 new permanent jobs to the area. Cann Group CEO Peter Crock says the company’s “plans to develop commercial scale production capacity at Mildura are central to the company’s strategy of being a fully integrated medicinal cannabis company that can service both Australian domestic patients and access valuable overseas markets”. He believes the grant is “a tangible demonstration of support from the Victorian Government in terms of [the company’s] objectives.” Shares in Cann Group (ASX:CAN) are trading 6.1 per cent higher at 96 cents at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Healthcare adding 1.9 per cent, while the worst performing and the only sector in the red at noon is Real Estate Investment Trusts, shedding 0.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Cochlear (ASX:COH), rising 5.2 per cent to $202.73, followed by shares in Alumina (ASX:AWC) and Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU).
On the other side of the ledger, the worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Adbri (ASX:ABC),dropping 24.9 per cent to $2.37 after announcing this morning that its subsidiary had lost an important supply contract worth $70 million per annum. This is followed by travel companies – Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,776 an ounce.
The Iron ore price is 0.3 per cent higher at US$99.47.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.24 US cents.