Aussie shares have kicked off the day a little higher with the ASX 200 up 0.1 per cent after a positive lead from Wall Street and firmer commodity prices. Volumes could be a little light today ahead of US and UK holidays tonight and a state holiday in the ACT.
Last week the Australian sharemarket improved by 1.4 per cent, outperforming most of its global peers. The surprise Coalition victory triggered a period of recalibration on the part of investors while the RBA gave its clearest sign yet it intends to cut rates in coming months. The market has fully priced in an interest rate cut next Tuesday.
At lunch on Monday, major mining stocks, Vocus (VOC) and technology companies are standing out. Losses from insurers QBE, IAG and Suncorp (SUN) together with Woolworths (WOW) and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH) are holding the ASX back most. BHP, Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue (FMG) are up as much as 2.4 per cent following a solid lift in iron ore prices on Friday and over the week.
Vocus (VOC) is up 17 per cent after opening its books to a European private equity firm for a proposed $3.3bn takeover. VOC is behind dodo and iPrimus brands.
TPG Telecom (TPM) lodged proceedings (Friday night) with the Federal Court of Australia and will argue that the proposed merger with Vodafone Hutchinson Australia (HTA) will not significantly lessen competition. HTA is up 8.3 per cent while TPM is 2.3 per cent higher.
Air New Zealand (AIZ) has announced a multi-billion dollar investment in new fuel-efficient Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners. The actual purchase price of the planes has not been disclosed however the planes have a sale value of US$2.7bn.
Fisher & Paykel (FPH) has posted a 10 per cent lift in FY19 profit to NZ$209.2m. Sales rose by 12 per cent to NZ$642.3m for its products used in respiratory, acute and surgical care. FPH expects revenue around NZ$1.15bn for the 2020 financial year and profit between NZ$240-$250m. FPH shares are down 4 per cent.
Suncorp (SUN) chief executive Michael Cameron has stepped down after almost four years in the role and seven years as a Board member. The QLD based financial institution has appointed its current CFO as Acting CEO.
Woolworths (WOW) has completed a A$1.7bn off-market BuyBack at a price of $33.64/share (around 4.46 per cent of issued capital). WOW has returned proceeds to investors from its Petrol business sale. WOW is down 1.3 per cent.
1.21bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $2.1bn. 538 stocks are up, 458 down and 349 are flat.
Published by CommSec