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Aussie shares staging solid recovery following yesterday’s heavy losses for the ASX 200. The index has made back 50 points or 0.9% to be sitting at 5608.3 points around lunch, after being as much 87 points higher in the earlier part of trade. This follows a rather muted performance on Wall St and is defying a drop in US futures on the back of a weak quarterly update from tech giant Apple as the iPhone maker reported a slowdown in sales due partly to less product upgrades and weakness in the Chinese economy.
Local gains have been broad based so far with all sectors in positive territory. The energy sector is lifting the most in percentage terms following a 2% rise in oil prices overnight. News of lower output by major OPEC producers, including Saudi Arabia has provided some relief to the oil price and supported local energy stocks such as Santos (STO) and Woodside (WPL), both 3% higher or more.
Communication names are also among the biggest improvers following a heavy sell-off yesterday. Telstra has rebounded 2.5% while Vocus Group (VOC) is 3.1% higher.
Lithium miner, Pilbara Minerals (PLS) is jumping 15% as it looks to increase its joint venture with South Korean steel maker POSCO with PLS to increase its Lithium carbonateequivalent (LCE) shipments from 30kpta to 40kpta. Pilbara has a proposed funding package of US$25 million to expand its Pilgangoora project in WA.
Healius (HLS), formerly Primary Health care, is lifting 11.1% after receiving a proposed takeover offer of $3.25/share from Chinese based Jangho Group.
Adventure retailer, Kathmandu (KMD) is sliding 14.5% on a profit downgrade for its first half profit guidance. This follows disappointing sales over the Christmas and BoxingDay sales period. Same store sales for the 22 weeks to Dec 30 falling by 1% on the prior year on a constant currency basis.
The Aussie dollar has been another big talking point with the local currency briefly falling to a near decade low, touching 67.41, a level not reached since March 2009. TheAussie has since reclaimed some of those losses but remains around 3 year lows at 69.38 US cents.
So far, 0.7b units have been traded worth $1.4b with 487 stocks higher, 315 lower and 295 unchanged.
Published by James Tao, CommSec