• The Australian sharemarket has got off to a positive start despite a mixed lead-in from US markets on Tuesday.
  • Today’s Announcements: APM Human Services International (APM) makes four acquisitions – enters the Swedish market | Select Harvest (SHV) announces fire-related event | Whisper (WSP) secures contract with Singtel |

Aussie shares open higher.

  • The Aussie sharemarket has lifted around 0.7 per cent in early trade. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones index rose by 96 points or 0.3 per cent. The S&P 500 index eased by 0.1 per cent from record highs, and the Nasdaq index fell 89.5 points or 0.6 per cent.
  • In commodities markets, the Brent crude oil price gained US34 cents or 0.4 per cent to US$78.94 a barrel and the US Nymex crude price added US41 cents or 0.5 per cent to US$75.98 a barrel. The oil prices were supported by expectations that US crude stocks fell in the past week. And while worries about the spread of Omicron persisted, production outages in Ecuador, Nigeria and Libya also kept prices afloat. Aussie-listed energy companies such as Woodside Petroleum (WPL) and Santos (STO) may therefore trade higher today.
  • Bullion continued its rally, with the gold futures price adding US$2.10 or 0.1 per cent to US$1,810.90 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,805 an ounce at the US close. The rise in the gold price could support shares of Aussie gold miners such as Evolution Mining (EVN) and Newcrest Mining (NCM).
  • UK financial markets were closed on Monday and Tuesday.

APM Human Services International (APM) makes four acquisitions and enters into the Swedish market.

  • APM Human Services International (APM), is an Australian-based service provider focused on supporting individuals via psychological interventions, medical rehabilitations and employment assistance. APM has announced the acquisition of Early Start Australia, MyIntegra and Mobility, and has entered the Swedish market via the acquisition of Clustera AB. The acquisitions of Early Start, MyIntegra and Mobility, were outlined in the company’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) prospectus and increase APM’s exposure to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), aged care home support and home care funding sectors. The acquisition of Clustera AB, Sweden’s leading provider of employment services, will facilitate APM’s entry into Sweden, and will increase APM’s revenue by A$2 million.
  • Select Harvest (SHV), Australia’s largest almond producer, has advised that its Carina West site has experienced a fire in the co-waste handling area. The prima facie assessment indicates smoke and water damage to site buildings, materials equipment and inventory, however, SHV’s primary production and value-adding processing areas have not been directly affected. SHV intends to submit a claim under the Industrial Special Risks Insurance Policy, which covers its physical assets against a fire event, and other business interruption losses.
  • Whisper (WSP), a software company focused on providing a communications workflow platform that automates interactions, has secured a 3-year contract with Singtel, Singapore’s leading global communications technology company. The contract has a minimum value of SGD$1.3 million, and will involve WSP replacing the core systems Singtel previously used.

Originally published by Divik Nigam, Associate Equity Market Analyst and Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec