The local sharemarket has opened firmer again on Friday as the Wall Street rally continued overnight. The ASX 200 is lifting 30 points or 0.48% to 6413.5 towards lunch and is aiming for a fourth straight day of gains. Global markets remain buoyed predominately by the possibility of a prolonged period of lower interest rates.
The sectors making some of the most significant gains have been in the resource space. Materials and energy have lifted with oil & gas providers benefitting from a rise in oil prices around 1.7%. Prices rose on the back of comments from Russian president Vladimir Putin on production levels alongside OPEC nations. Larger producers such as Santos (STO) and Woodside (WPL) are both climbing ~2%.
Miners are also improving and rebounding from losses yesterday. Heavyweights, BHP Group (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) are driving improvements with gains of 1.5% and 0.6% respectively. Fortescue Metals (FMG) is however easing 0.7% after a near 2.8% loss yesterday. Rare earths miner, Lynas Corp (LYC) is lifting 4.8% as it presents at a conference in the US.
Consumer discretionary stocks have been the main laggard on today’s market with many retail facing names in the red. Travel agent, Flight Centre (FLT) is down 2.9% while Super Retail Group (SUL), which owns Rebel Sport, Macpac & Supercheap Auto, is also 2% lower. JB Hi-Fi (JBH) and Harvey Norman (HVN) are also weaker while department store Myer (MYR) is bucking the trend, rising 1.1%.
In company news, graphite miner Syrah Resources is easing by 2.5% after providing lower 2Q19 production guidance of 45kt-50kt, down from a previous expectation of 50kt-55kt.
Meanwhile, Australia’s construction activity has seen its sharpest fall over six years in May. The total value of home loans fell in April by 1% with the result weighed by a 2.2% decline in the value of investor loans. Owner- occupied loan values lifted more than expected, up 1%. The Aussie dollar is buying 69.78 US cents.
So far, 1b units have traded hands worth $1.9b with 527 stocks higher, 389 lower and 384 unchanged.
Published by CommSec