The Aussie market is continuing its recent run of gains to start the new trading week. The ASX 200 is rising 10 points or 0.14% to 6748.7 at lunch and briefly hit 5-week highs in early trade. This follows solid improvements from global markets as US-China trade optimism lifts and US earnings have been mostly better than expected.
Gains for commodity prices have supported local energy and mining stocks to be among the outperformers. The materials is the strongest sector as the major miners lift on the back of higher iron ore prices, which rose 2.3% over the last week. BHP Group (BHP) is 1.4% higher with a similar gain of 1.3% for Rio Tinto (RIO). Fortescue Metals (FMG) is standing out with a lift of 2.4%.
Local energy producers have also rallied on firmer global oil prices, boosted by US-China trade optimism and a fall in US oil rigs in operation last week. Oil Search (OSH) is rising 1.6% and Santos (STO) is also climbing 1%. There have also been quarterly updates released for smaller producers like Beach Energy (BPT). Shares are 1.7% higher for the SA based oil and gas company despite production and sales volumes both falling over the September quarter, which was explained due to the sale of the Otway basin off the coast of South Australia. Viva Energy (VEA) is also 2.5% higher on its quarterly update.
Financials, tech and consumer staples are pulling the broader market back from session highs. The major lenders are down as much as 0.4% for the big four banks. Afterpay Touch (APT) is also softer by 1.7% while supermarket giant Coles Group (COL) is easing 2.2%.
Metals recycling firm Sims Metal Management (SGM) is one of the biggest decliners, tumbling 10%, with another profit warning for the upcoming half. The company is expecting to deliver a first half underlying EBIT loss of $20- $30 million as the downturn in scrap metals prices is worse than first thought. SGM does anticipate to still report a full year underlying EBIT profit in FY20.
The Aussie dollar is little changed at 68.2 US cents ahead of key local inflation data due out Wednesday. So far, 1.3b units have been traded worth $ 1.6b with 536 stocks higher, 451 lower and 347 unchnaged.
Published by CommSec