A2 Milk and Bubs jump, AGL scraps demerger, Tech bulls lead ASX up 0.9% at noon

Australian shares jumped to a three week high after a strong lead from Wall St. Every sector is rallying, bar utilities after news from AGL. The optimism is led by technology shares, extending the local index’s two weeks of gains.

By no surprise, AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) is one of the worst performers of the session. Not only did investors learn about the dissolution of the proposal to separate AGL Energy into AGL Australia and Accel Energy, the chief executive officer and the chairman have both put in their resignation. Shares are trading 2.4 per cent lower at $8.66.

Iron ore prices rose on improved sentiment in China, helping BHP (ASX:BHP). The index’s largest company is adding 2.1 per cent to $44.57, while Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) both adding 1.3 per cent.

Other than the iron ore sector, resources stocks are mixed with coal miners the worst hit. Yancoal’s (ASX:YAL) biggest shareholder Yankuang Energy is considering growing its stake in the company, however there is no certainty around it. Shares have fallen on the news by 11.7 per cent to $5.30.

Investors also learned that India is set to reopen old coal mines and increase output by 100 million tons, sending New Hope (ASX:NHC) shares down 5.3 per cent to $3.60, making it one of the worst performers of the session. Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) has also been hit, down around 2 per cent.

In other news, Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) is up by 4.6 per cent to $1.38 after extending the termination date on its offtake agreement with Tesla. Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) climbed 3.4 per cent to $3.01.

Meanwhile, Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB) soared over 44 per cent to 70 cents after inking a deal to send more than a 500,000 tins of baby formula to the US to help ease a nationwide shortage. President Joe Biden launched ‘operation fly formula’ over a week ago to address nationwide shortage of baby formula, issuing the The Defense Production Act which requires suppliers of formula manufacturing to fulfil those orders before other customer orders. A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) is up 10.7 per cent to $4.78 as the best performing stock in the ASX 200, while Australian Dairy Nutritionals Group (ASX:AHF) has soared 20.7 per cent to 7.6 cents.

Across the major lenders, Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) is up 2.2 per cent to $186.97 while National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) and ANZ Bank (ASX:ANZ) are flat, despite news that ASIC is set to start civil proceedings against the ANZ Bank for allegedly misleading its customers about the available funds and balances in their credit card accounts. Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) is 0.4 per cent lower to $106.20.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.9 per cent or 66 points higher at 7,248.

The SPI futures are trading at a 63-point premium.

Company news by Lauren Evans

Growthpoint Properties Australia (ASX:GOZ) has exchanged contracts with Dandenong GSB to purchase Government Service Office Dandenong in Victoria for $165 million. Shares are trading 0.8 per cent higher at $3.89.

Biome’s (ASX:BIO) Activated Probiotics® is set to hit the shelves at Priceline stores next
month after inking a new distribution deal, expanding its presence to 370 pharmacies nationwide. Shares are trading 10 per cent higher at 11 cents.

Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) has increased its takeover bid for DGO Gold to $2.25 per share, noting that its improved offer is “best and final”. Shares are trading 2.3 per cent higher at $1.33.

Australian Unity Office Fund (ASX:AOF) has received a non-binding takeover bid from Aliro Group to acquire all shares for $2.45 per share. Shares are trading 10 per cent higher at $2.41.

Health insurer nib (ASX:NHF) will hold off from increasing health insurance premiums for another two months to further support those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Shares are trading flat at $7.36.

Capricorn Metals (ASX:CMM) has entered into an agreement with Gascoyne Resources to acquire the Mumbakine Well project located contiguous to Capricorn’s Karlawinda gold project in Western Australia. Shares are trading 2.5 per cent higher at $3.63.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH) announced that Cather Simpson has been appointed as a non-executive director, effective from Wednesday. Shares are trading 2 per cent higher at $18.36.

Vista Group International (ASX:VGL) is set to transition an existing major enterprise client in Latin America to the Vista Cloud platform via a 10 year agreement. Shares are trading flat at $1.40.

Telix Pharmaceuticals’ (ASX:TLX) prostate cancer imaging agent Illuccix® has been granted a pass-through in the US with full reimbursement available from July 1. Shares are trading 6.9 per cent higher at $4.58.

Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals (ASX:PAR) has appointed Marco Polizzi as chief executive officer, effective from Wednesday, replacing Donna Skerrett who served as interim CEO. Shares are trading 5.8 per cent higher at $1.28.

X2M Connect (ASX:X2M) has entered the Australian energy management market after signing a term sheet with Resi Ventures and a memorandum of understanding with RACV. Shares last traded at 10 cents.

BIR Financial (ASX:BIR) has appointed Greg Starr as chairman following the resignation of Tal Silberman. Shares last traded at 2.3 cents.

Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) is set to sell its Mexican precious and base metals projects to Bendito Resources for $20 million. Shares are trading 5.8 per cent higher at 28 cents.

Ashley Services (ASX:ASH) is set to acquire a 75 per cent stake in Linc Personnel, which provides labour hire and recruitment services within the oil and gas industry. Shares are trading 6.7 per cent higher at 72 cents.

Volt Power’s (ASX:VPR) 70 per cent owned subsidiary, EcoQuip Australia has secured an agreement with BHP to conduct a trial of EcoQuip’s zero emission, zero OPEX and maintenance mobile solar light tower. Shares are trading flat at $0.0020.

RPM Automotive (ASX:RPM) is set to acquire AFT Automotive Group, a wholesaler of 4WD accessories, and All Terrain Design, a designer of 4WD motor vehicle accessories. Shares are trading flat at 31 cents.

Ventia Services (ASX:VRT) has signed a contract with Transpower NZ to provide electrical and telecommunication services to New Zealand’s national electricity grid. Shares are trading 0.1 per cent higher at $8.09.

Creso Pharma’s (ASX:CPH) Canadian based psychedelics company, Halucenex Life Sciences has entered into a supply of goods agreement with psychedelics cultivator Optimi Health Corp. Shares are trading flat at 5.3 cents.

Australasian Metals (ASX:A8G) has been awarded $160,000 by the Northern Territory Geological Survey, with funding used towards its Mt Peake lithium project. Shares are trading flat at 39 cents.

SportsHero (ASX:SHO) has executed a 3 year binding term sheet with Wuhan Monster Technology, the commercial and operating arm of the Wuhan Esports Association – China’s 2nd largest gaming association. Shares last traded at 2.7 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1856.74 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.4 per cent higher at US$134.45 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.27 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.76 US cents.

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics