The Aussie market is hitting record highs on Thursday. The All Ordinaries (XAO) has hit an all-time high this morning, breaking through its previous high set on November 1 2007. The ASX 200 (XJO) is lifting, but still below its all-time high of 6851, up 20pts or 0.30% at 6797.The ASX200 has been led by improvements across most sectors w ith the industrials and information technology leading gains.
Gains are being held back by losses for the materials sector. Iluka Resources (ILU) is sliding for a second day follow ing a large number of broker dow ngrades after yesterday’s disappointing quarterly update. ILU is currently trading dow n 69.5 cents or 7% to $9.30. BHP Group (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) have also been hit in early trade follow ing a fall in iron ore by US$3.00 or 2.5 per cent to US$115.10 a tonne overnight.
Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) has also released their quarterly result, stating annual iron-ore shipments w ere slightly low er over the past year because of disruptions from a cyclone in northw est Australia. How ever, exports are forecast to rise again in the year ahead. FMG has benefitted from strength in iron-ore prices, w hich have surged to more than five-year highs on sector-w ide supply setbacks and rising Chinese steel production. This morning FMG is dow n 44 cents or 4.9% to $8.30.
The standout performer in the first few hours of trade is IOOF Holdings (IFL) w hich is up 42 cents or 7.6 per cent to $5.91 after announcing an increase to Funds Under Management, Advice and Administration (FUMA) by 18.7% or $23.6m compared to the prior year. Macquarie Group (MQG) is up 49 cents or 0.38% to $129.80 this morning after announcing their first quarter result w hich performed broadly in line w ith expectations. MQG anticipate a softer profit this year, w hich w ould snap a seven-year run of grow th for Australia’s biggest investment bank and asset manager.
Newcrest Mining (NCM) said annual gold and copper production w as higher than a year ago and roughly around the midpoint of its earlier projections, w hile costs fell to a record low in their quarterly result today. Higher output and low er costs w ere underpinned by records at its Cadia operations. NCM shares are easing 11.5 cents or 0.34% to $33.90. Another big mover is Karoon Energy (KAR) which announced that it has agreed to acquire a 100% operating interest in the Bauna field oil asset off the shore of Brazil for US$665 million through a w holly ow ned subsidiary. The share price has surged on the back of this announcement up 14 cents or 11.5% to $1.35.
On the economic front, RBA Governor Philip Low e w ill speak today on the topic of inflation at 1.05pm AEST today w ith no other major releases due. The Aussie dollar is holding around 69.84 US cents ahead of the speech. 1.3b shares have changed hands so far today w orth $3.1b. 621 stocks are up, 384 dow n and 355 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec