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Energy and mining companies are keeping Australian shares afloat at midday after the market lost some of its earlier gains.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index is up 4.2 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 5,890.9 points at 1200 AEDT on Thursday while the broader All Ordinaries was up 8.2 points, or 0.14 per cent at 5,959.4.

Property sector shares were down 1.41 per cent while banking and telco stocks were also in the red.

The Aussie dollar is higher, buying 72.50 US cents up from 71.95 US cents on Wednesday, though it dipped slightly following the release of trade price index data.

The local resources sector had already climbed nearly four per cent this week on a metal price rally, with iron ore soaring more than 10 per cent since Monday.

BHP was up 1.04 per cent to $34.96 and Rio Tinto rose 0.69 per cent to $87.90.

Fortescue Metals was up 2.95 per cent to $5.58 after reporting a five per cent rise in its second-quarter iron-ore shipments.

Soaring gold prices lifted Evolution 2.04 per cent to $4.00.

Oil prices have also risen again, pushing energy stocks higher.

Beach Energy, which has raised its production guidance for fiscal 2019, was up 7.33 per cent to $1.83.

Oil Search rose 2.23 per cent to $7.81 while Origin retreated, but was still ahead 1.46 per cent at $7.275 following a 45 per cent rise in second quarter revenue.

NAB, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac were all down by between 0.25 and 0.99 per cent ahead of the publication of the royal commission findings.

Qantas shares continued to slide, down more than two per cent at $5.495, after code-share partner Air New Zealand flagged a drop in demand.

Healthcare shares were in the black at noon.

Earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported China’s demand for Australian iron ore pushed the value of exports higher in the three months to December, but a weaker dollar also lifted import costs.

On Wall Street, equities surged after the Federal Reserve said it would be patient in lifting borrowing costs further this year, reassuring investors worried about a slowing economy.