Aussie shares are off to a bright start to the new trading week. The ASX 200 is climbing 9 points or 0.15% to 5888 around lunch after being higher by around 30 points at its best levels. This move higher follows Wall Street’s lead with reports over the weekend that China would be looking to increase US imports as a sign of trade tensions further easing between the two major economic powers.
Locally, the energy sector has been one of the main benefactors of the renewed trade optimism with crude oil prices receiving a boost. OPEC nations also released details of plans to wind back production levels while US oil rig counts also fell. Santos (STO) has gained 1.6% while Caltex Australia (CTX) is 2.8% higher.
Consumer discretionary stocks have also been among the better performers. Gaming company, Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) is advancing 3.4%, Wesfarmers (WES) is up 0.9% and Ardent Leisure Group (ALG) is gaining 6%. Elsewhere, TPG Telecom (TPM) is up 4.8% and Coles Group (COL) is improving by 2%.
Treasury Wine Estate (TWE) is 0.25% higher as it affirmed guidance for the upcoming half along with the immediate departure of COO Robert Foye due to a breach of “internal policies unrelated to the company’s trading performance”.
In the losers column, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is easing 0.4% while healthcare names are also weaker with CSL Ltd (CSL) leading the losses, down 0.3%. It is a mixed session for miners with BHP Group (BHP) and Fortescue Metals (FMG) improving but the gold subsector is weaker on a fall in the gold price. Newcrest Mining (NCM) is down 1% while OceanaGold (OGC) has fallen 4%. Saracen Minerals (SAR) has eased 1.7% despite lifting its FY19 production guidance following a strong December half performance.
Sims Metal Management (SGM) is the worst performer on the ASX 200, slumping 15% as the metals recycling business lowered its earnings guidance by ~12% for the first half of 2019 citing challenging conditions over the half and into the near future.
The Aussie dollar is weaker despite the lift in US-China trade optimism. The local unit is buying 71.53 US cents ahead of an economic data dump from China later today. So far, 0.7b units have been traded worth $1.4b with 537 stocks higher, 396 weaker and 371 unchanged.
Published by James Tao, CommSec