The Australian market opened higher following positive leads from Wall Street and continues to rise in early trade. Healthcare and Industrial stocks are leading the charge this morning. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 54 points up or 0.8 per cent higher at 6,704. On the futures market the SPI is 52 points higher.
Local economic news
The Reserve Bank of Australia released data on private sector credit for the month of December. Total credit rose 0.3 per cent in December compared to the previous month and was up 1.8 per cent year on year. Housing credit drove the increase, up 3.5 per cent for the year. Meanwhile personal credit was down 12.3 per cent and business credit rose only 1.0 per cent.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics published producer prices for the December quarter. Final demand (excluding exports) rose 0.5 per cent quarter on quarter on the back of a 0.4 per cent rise the previous quarter. However it missed the mark, with investors expecting to see a 0.7 per cent rise for the quarter. Year on year the figure was down 0.1 per cent.Broker moves
UBS rates the a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M)
as a buy, with a price target of $10.65. The broker expects a recovery in the daigou channel over the next 18 months. It approves of the company’s plan to focus on expanding sales at Chinese mother-and-baby stores. Shares in the a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M)
are trading 2.3 per cent higher at $10.89 at noon.Company news
Shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC)
jumped this morning after it announced that sales revenue rose to a record $119.4 million in the December quarter. Production was in line with guidance. The company says that demand for electric vehicles has accelerated in Europe and Asia, which has more than compensated for the overall decrease in the automotive market demand during the pandemic. Shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC)
are trading 1.6 per cent higher at $5.06 at noon.Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Healthcare, adding 2.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 0.4 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Domain Holdings Australia (ASX:DHG)
, rising 8.9 per cent to $5.03, followed by shares in Service Stream (ASX:SSM)
and NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH)
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Kogan.com (ASX:KGN)
,dropping 5.5 per cent to $18.57, followed by shares in IGO Limited (ASX:IGO)
and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN)
.Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,844 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 5.5 per cent to US$157.42.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a further fall of 2.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.75 US cents.