Westpac-MI leading index improves in August: ASX tracking 0.8% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market shot up at the open and is now tracking 0.8 per cent higher at noon. Shares in employment company Seek (ASX:SEK) did well this morning rising over 8 per cent, meanwhile shares in Whitehaven coal (ASX:WHC) dropped this morning.

The S&P/ASX 200 index

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 47 points up at 5,942. On the futures market the SPI is suggesting a rise of 41 points.

Local economic news

The Westpac-MI leading index's six-month annualised growth improved to -2.56 per cent in August from –4.42 per cent in July. The growth rate indicates the likely pace of economic activity relative to trend three to nine months into the future.

Company news

Buddy Technologies (ASX:BUD), a leader in IoT and cloud-based solutions has received new contracted purchase orders totalling US$4.5m (A$6.2m) from existing retail and distribution partners. The Company has now achieved its largest ever 30 day sales period. Total contracted purchase orders received over the prior 30 days now exceeds A$30m, which is a new record for the Company. Shares in Buddy Technologies (ASX:BUD) are currently 13.4 per cent higher at $0.08.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is communication services adding at 1.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Utilities losing at 0.05 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Seek (ASX:SEK) rising 9.5 per cent to $21.03, followed by shares in Nearmap (ASX:NEA) and Breville Group (ASX:BRG).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) dropping 4.2 per cent to $0.93, followed by shares in Ooh!Media (ASX:OML) and Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,957 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 1.3 per cent lower at US$128.52.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a fall of 1.6 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.14US cents.