ASX rises, Incitec Pivot & Mesoblast jump: ASX up 0.4% at noon

The Australian sharemarket is lifting higher this morning with nearly all sectors in the green. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.4 per cent or 31 points higher at 7474.00. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 31 points.

Financials are the only sector in the red, down 0.3 per cent, while health care is the best performer, up 1.3 per cent. Consumer discretionary is the second highest, up 1 per cent, followed by technology, up 0.9 per cent, then materials, up 0.8 per cent.

Mesoblast (AX:MSB) is leading the market, up 7.1 per cent as the best-performing stock, after the medicine company announced the results from a phase three trial of rexlemestrocel-L in treating chronic heart failure. Meanwhile, chemical manufacturer Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) is up 5.8 per cent after reporting a 91 per cent increase in net profit after tax in the 2021 financial year.

Across the miners, Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) is up 6.3 per cent and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) is up 4.2 per cent. Heavyweight miners were mixed, with Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) up 2.9 per cent and BHP (ASX:BHP) down 0.5 per cent as iron ore prices trade 4.7 per cent lower.

In company news, energy giant Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) is trading 1.7 per cent higher after agreeing to sell off a 49 per cent stake in the Pluto Train 2 project to Global Infrastructure Partners.

NAB (ASX:NAB) is the biggest drag out of the banks, dropping 2.5 per cent in the early trade as it trades ex-dividend, while edging 0.1 per cent higher at noon. Petroleum giant Ampol (ASX:ALD) is weighing on the market, down 2.7 per cent as the worst-performing stock.

To recap, there was a mixed market around the globe as earnings season winds down amid hot inflation. US stocks rallied but closed lower for the week. A fall in commodity players and travel stocks led to a weaker performance in Europe, and Evergrande’s move saw a wave of enthusiasm in Asian markets.

Local economic news 

No eco news slated for today.

Company news

Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) has posted a strong increase in net profit after tax (NPAT) in the 2021 financial year as its fertilisers business were the beneficiary of the upswing in commodity prices.

Superannuation admin industry Link Administration (ASX:LNK) has considered it appropriate to provide Carlyle with due diligence information on a non-exclusive basis, in regards to the takeover bid.  

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Health Care, up 1.3 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Financials, down 0.3 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mesoblast (ASX:MSB), trading 9.4 per cent higher at $1.86. It is followed by shares in Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) and Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ampol (ASX:ALD), trading 2.7 per cent lower at $30.00. It is followed by shares in National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) and Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1865.17 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.7 per cent lower at US$89.75 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.9 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.30 US cents.

Investor event

The last event for the year is tomorrow with four companies presenting from financial services, wireless technology to pharmaceutical companies. Make your way to fnn.com.au to reserve your free online spot.