After two days of losses, the Aussie market is lifting on Wednesday with the ASX 200 up 7 points or 0.1% to 6193 towards lunch. It was another mixed session in the US following President Trump’s tough stance on trade at a speech to the US General Assembly.
Back home, Energy and materials continue to outperform the rest of the market. Crude oil prices are maintaining 4- year highs, helping drive gains for local energy producers. Origin Energy (ORG) and Oil Search (OSH) leading the gains, up 2.2% and 1.8% each.
Miner continue to improve despite a mixed night for metals on the London Metals Exchange. Major miners BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) are both 1% higher. Gold miners are also pushing higher with St Barbara (SBM) jumping 4.5%. IT stocks are making headway with Afterpay Touch (APT) climbing 3.9% and Wisetech Global (WTC) rising 2.7%.
The main drags on the markets positive momentum are coming from the financials and healthcare. The big four banks and Macquarie (MQG) are all weaker between 0.4% and 0.7%. Blood products maker, CSL Ltd (CSL) is the main weight among health names, down 0.9%. Australian Pharmaceuticals (API) is sliding 8.9%, and one of the biggest decliners in the top 200 stocks, on a broker downgrade.
Santos (STO) is up 0.6% after announcing at its investor day that it is looking to target production of 100mmboe by 2025, almost doubling its current levels. This comes on the back of its acquisition of Quadrant Energy earlier in the year for US$2.15 billion.
Nufarm (NUF) has reported a net loss of $15.6 million for FY18 after writing down $91.5 million in drought related impairments and acquisition costs. Revenue was higher in all regions except Aust/NZ with severe drought in the Eastern and Southern states of Australia hampering growth. NUF also announced a $303 million capital raising.
The AUD is rising against the USD, buying US72.77c ahead of the conclusion of the US Fed meeting on rates (4am AEST).
So far, 1.2B units have changed hands worth $2.2B with 513 stocks higher, 428 lower and 349 unchanged.
Published by James Tao, Analyst, CommSec