Gains in utilities and materials: Aus shares trading 0.4% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Adrian Tan

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The market has risen in early morning trade, mainly on the back of gains in the Utilities and Materials sectors, with strong volume in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), Alumina (ASX:AWC) and Telstra (ASX:TLS). Most of the sectors are in the black.

Mergers are making the news this morning, with a proposed $4 billion merger between lithium producers Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE), and a proposed $2.2 billion merger between investment managers Primewest (ASX:PWG) and Centurial Capital Group (ASX:CNI).

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.35 per cent or 25.00 points higher at 7088.50.

Futures

Futures are pointing to a rise of 28 points or 0.4 per cent.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities, up 0.9 per cent, and the worst sector is Energy, down 0.75 per cent. 

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Sims Limited (ASX:SGM), trading 9.47 per cent higher at $16.64. It is followed by shares in Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) and Champion Iron Ltd (ASX:CIA). The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pointsbet Holdings (ASX:PBH), trading 2.71 per cent lower at $13.27. It is followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and National Storage (ASX:NSR).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1776.04 an ounce.
Iron ore is $0.02 higher to US$178.43 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.28 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.20 US cents.