The Aussie market is trading flat at lunch on Wednesday with the ASX 200 up 3 points to 5878. Market participants are waiting on the US midterm election results with the polls now closed. Democrats are widely tipped to regain the House of Representatives with the Republican Party expected to hold onto the senate.
Bank gains have managed to prop up the broader market with support from energy and consumer discretionary names. ANZ Bank (ANZ) is leading the gains, climbing 1.2%. The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) announced its September Quarter cash earnings of $2.5 billion ahead of its AGM today. CBA is up 0.5%. Suncorp Group (SUN) is down 0.9% after also providing a September quarterly update.
In other company news, Retail Food Group (RFG) is jumping 15% after the franchisor of food brands like Donut King and Gloria Jeans announced Mr Peter George as its new Executive Chairman. Freedom Foods (FNP) is also firming 4.7% with the health foods business signing an agreement to grow the distribution of its Arnold’s Farm cereal and snacks range in China.
Elsewhere, Syrah Resources (SYR) is climbing 12% after signing a sales agreement for a 20kt shipment of natural graphite with a Chinese energy research firm. Engineering firm, WorleyParsons (WOR) has been awarded several contracts in the UK with ConocoPhillips U.K., Ltd with its share price improving by 10%.
Online retailer Kogan.com (KGN) is looking to expand into the superannuation space after signing an agreement with financial group Mercer to start its own no-frills and low fee superannuation product by early 2019. KGN shares have dipped 3.5%. Online travel agency, Webjet (WEB) is slipping 6% after resuming trade following the completion of its institutional capital raise to help fund its recently announced acquisition of a whole travel business for $240 million.
The Aussie dollar remains volatile leading up to the final results of the US midterms. The local currency buys 72.3 US cents after hitting a high of 72.57 US cents.
So far, 1.2B units have traded worth $2.3B with 502 stocks higher, 449 lower and 341 unchanged.
Published by James Tao, CommSec