Materials & industrials shares take charge: ASX tracking 0.4% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

Text-only (non-video) report.

The Australian sharemarket is off to a positive start, keeping its gains from the start of the session fuelled by mining and technology shares. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.34 per cent or 24.2 points higher at 7088.90. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 17 points. The best performing stock is Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) climbing 6.8 per cent followed by Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) adding 6.05 per cent and Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) up 5.46 per cent. BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) added 1.2-1.5 per cent respectively despite iron ore prices dipping slightly from yesterday. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) has shed 0.8 per cent following their quarterly production figures this morning. On the technology front, Afterpay (ASX:APT) is up 2 per cent following its recent partnership with digital bank and processing company Novatti (ASX:NOV), while Novatti’s share price soared over 36 per cent in morning trade. Meanwhile, energy stocks are lifting following the US lead as oil prices rose while the big four banks fell into the red.

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures from their international trade price indexes report for the March quarter. The export price index rose 11.2 per cent this quarter and 8.6 per cent through the year. The import price index rose 0.2 per cent this quarter and fell 6.2 cent through the year. During the period, the Australian dollar rose against the US with the exchange rate impacting prices.

Company news

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Infrastructure firm NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) has confirmed that its mineral processing specialist Primero Group has inked a $135 million deal to provide services to ASX-listed miner Strandline Resources (ASX:STA).

Australia’s biggest grocery distribution chain Woolworths (ASX:WOW) has announced its withdrawal of a Dan Murphy Store construction project in Darwin.

Digital banking and payments company Novatti (ASX:NOV) has been selected by Afterpay (ASX:APT) for the delivery of its payment card program in New Zealand.

Infrastructure investment heavyweight Infratil (ASX:IFT) is splurging over $326 million on a majority interest in diagnostic services provider Pacific Radiology.

The race for ownership of ASX-listed health, wellness and beauty products distributor McPherson’s (ASX:MCP) has intensified, as a new bid by Arrotex has toppled unlisted investment firm Kin Group’s 172 million takeover offer.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 1.28 per cent. The worst performing sector is Consumer Staples down 1.1 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS), trading 6.77 per cent higher at $1.74. It is followed by shares in Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) and Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nuix (ASX:NXL), trading 5.15 per cent lower at $4.05. It is followed by shares in Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW) and Nufarm (ASX:NUF).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1789.09 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.40 per cent lower at US$192.52 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.96 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.16 US cents.