The local sharemarket has pulled back slightly but is still higher on the back of rising iron ore prices and record highs on Wall Street. The S&P/ASX200 is up 44 points or 0.7 per cent to 6678. Futures are pointing to a gain of 38 points. Fortescue Metals is on track for another record close and the broader materials sector is outperforming with BHP up 2.6 per cent, Fortescue up 4.2 per cent and Rio Tinto up 2.3 per cent, after Macquarie boosted its price targets following commodity price gains. Santos up 2.8 per cent after announcing it has signed a binding long-term LNG supply and purchase agreement with Diamond Gas International, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi. Metcash shares have risen 9.5 per cent to hit $3.52 on its half year results.
Local economic news
Reserve Bank Governor Phillip Lowe says that the buy now pay later operators in Australia have not yet reached the point where it is clear that the costs arising from the no-surcharge rule outweigh the potential benefits in terms of innovation.
ANZ jobs adds have jumped 13.9 per cent in November on the back of Melbourne re-opening. Jobs ad are up 27 per cent over the last two months.
Macquarie Bank has upgraded Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) to neutral from underperform. the investment bank says the company's copper exposure has a beneficial impact, providing amplified earnings upside. Shares in Newcrest Mining are 0.6 per cent higher at $27.38.
Medical technology company Control Bionics (ASX:CBL) has commenced trading on the ASX today after raising $15 million via a fully underwritten (IPO) . The company issued at 60 cents it opened at $1.12 and is currently trading at $1.24.
Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) will start operating in Melbourne under revised directions from Wednesday. The number of people permitted at any one time will be limited to 50 per cent of the maximum capacity. Shares in Crown (ASX:CWN) are 0.1 per cent higher at $9.80.
Meantime, infrastructure company Infratil (ASX:IFT) says it will consider selling its shareholding in Tilt Renewables. The company says it has recently received a number of inquiries in relation to its 65.5 per cent Tilt shareholding. Shares in Infratil are up 2.08 per cent to $5.64
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is materials gaining 1.95 per cent while the sector trailing behind is healthcare dropping 0.3 per cent. The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Metcash (ASX:MTS) rising 9.5 per cent to $3.52 , followed by shares in Western Areas (ASX:WSA) and Sims Metal Management (ASX:SGM) The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bapcor (ASX:BAP) dropping 3.7 per cent to $6.83 , followed by shares in IDP Education (ASX:IEL) and Cochlear (ASX:COH).
Gold is trading at US$1,837 an ounce.
Iron ore is 5.8 per cent higher $145.01
Futures are suggesting a rise of 2.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.29 US.