The Australian sharemarket has advanced this morning as strong gains from miners, property trusts and financial stocks helped lift the index. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 1.4 per cent or 99.5 points higher at 7423.8. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 105 points.
All sectors are in the green, with materials adding the most points, up 1.9 per cent. Real estate is next, up 1.7 per cent, followed by financials and health care, both up 1.5 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is utilities, up 0.4 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is AMP (ASX:AMP), trading 8.1 per cent higher following the divestment of its equity interest in Resolution Life Australasia. The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Redbubble (ASX:RBL), trading 3.2 per cent lower.
Heavyweight miners are up despite a sharp fall in iron ore prices overnight. BHP (ASX:BHP) is up 1.6 per cent following talks about the Noront Resources acquisition. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is up 1 per cent and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is up 3.1 per cent. Lithium and rare earths miners are also up sharply as demand for battery ingredients is expected to grow. Orocobre (ASX:ORE) is trading 6.6 per cent higher, while fellow lithium miner Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) is trading 5 per cent higher. Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) is up 3.2 per cent.
Of the major banks, ANZ (AX:ANZ) is leading, trading 2 per cent higher. NAB (ASX:NAB) is up 1.9 per cent, Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) is up 1.4 per cent and Westpac (ASX:WBC) is up 1.1 per cent . Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) has also rose 2.6 per cent.
Amongst the gains, protective equipment supplier Ansell (ASX:ANN) is up 3.8 per cent, while property giant Ingenia Communities (ASX:INA) is up 4.2 per cent.
Austral Resources Australia (ASX:AR1) started trading today. Their shares issued at $0.20, started trading at $0.155 and are currently at $0.165.
Local economic news
Australian Bureau of Statistics released the September dwelling approvals The seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved fell 4.3 per cent in September. Private sector houses fell 16 per cent, while private sector dwellings excluding houses rose 18.1 per cent. The value of non-residential building approved fell 11.3 per cent.
Australian Bureau of Statistics also released the living cost index (LCI) report. In the September 2021 quarter, all five living cost indexes rose. Transport was the main contributor for all five population sub-groups. The Automotive fuel series reached a record level in the September 2021 quarter, due to higher global oil prices amid economic recovery and supply disruptions.
Housing also contributed to the rise for all five population sub-groups, due to an increase in property rates, which is the largest rise since 2016. Many councils increased rates after implementing smaller rises, rebates or rate freezes last year. All LCIs rose annually by between 2.6 and 2.9 per cent. The increase is due to Automotive fuel with annual price rises of 25 per cent.
Financial services provider AMP (ASX:AMP) has agreed to divest its 19.13 per cent equity interest in Resolution Life Australasia (RLA) for $524 million to Resolution Life Group.
Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) has started talks with billionaire Andrew Forest’s Wyloo Metals about the proposed takeover of Canadian nickel miner Noront Resources.
Telecom giant Telstra (ASX:TLS) has renewed its contract with the Australian Department of Defence, signing a five-year deal worth over $1 billion.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Materials, up 1.9 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is Utilities, up 0.4 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is AMP (ASX:AMP), trading 8.1 per cent higher at $1.16. It is followed by shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Redbubble (ASX:RBL), trading 3.2 per cent lower at $3.75. It is followed by shares in Uniti Group (ASX:UWL) and Tyro Payments (ASX:TYR).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1786.57 an ounce.
Iron ore is 6.6 per cent lower at US$96.45 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.6 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.35 US cents.