Local shares added to yesterday’s gains in early trade on Friday The ASX 200 started the session at the lows of the day with a 2 point gain before trading to a 35 point improvement at the best levels of the morning.
Energy and Utilities were the most improved sectors in early trade, while Financials added to yesterday’s gains. I.T names lead the declines, Computer Share (CPU) was -1% or 17 cents lower at $16.17, Wisetech Global (WTC) was at $12.21 for a loss of 22 cents or 1.7%, followed by Consumer staples, Metcash (MTS) was 2 cents easier or 0.79% at $3.14 and Property, Stockland (SGP) was 6 cents or 1.4% weaker at $4.65
Participation saw 1.9 billion transactions being measured by the ASX valued at $2.4 billion. At lunch 568 shares were higher, 480 were lower and 348 were unchanged.
Early gains for the ASX 200 came on the heels of a constructive session for US markets. Investors again embraced technology stocks although the prospect of a partial government shutdown capped gains in the broader market. Investors are looking ahead to Friday’s employment report. At the close of trade the US Dow Jones was up by 71 points or 0.3% after trading in a 161 point range. The S&P 500 index was up 0.3%, and the Nasdaq was up by 36.5 points or 0.5%.
Bulk iron ore miners were under pressure in response to the latest comments from Brazilian iron ore giant Vale. The world’s largest iron ore producer. Vale’s iron ore production volumes are expected to lift from 365 million tonnes (Mt) in 2017 to 390Mt next year, before being capped at around 400Mt by 2019. Significantly, the amount of lower grade ore it sells from its southern mines in Brazil will fall to 24% next year, down from 41% in 2016. The initiative reflects a trend amongst the large commodity producers to maximise margins over volumes. The Brazilian miner is hoping the strategy will prevent inefficient high cost producers from regaining market traction again.
Logistics software provider GetSwift (GSW) remained in a trading halt after the group announced it would be undertaking a capital raising. The group which develops software that optimises an organisation’s logistics, delivery routes, delivery dispatch and tracking plans to raise up to $100 million dollars. GSW shares have risen from 30 cents at the start of the year to most recently be at $4.00 prior to requesting a trading halt.
Major currencies were generally mixed against the US dollar in last 24 hours. The Aussie dollar retreated from highs of US75.45 cents to lows around US75.05 cents and was near the lows at the closed of US trade. The local unit was at 75.10 US cents in early regional trade.
Originally published by CommSec