Oil prices surged by up to 1.7% in early Asian trading following a deadly explosion at a Gaza hospital, heightening tensions in the Middle East ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit. A summit between Biden and leaders of Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority was canceled as the US president seeks to prevent further escalation in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The S&P/ASX 200 is currently 0.13 per cent higher at 7,065.40.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 8 points.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Health Care, up 0.79 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 0.6 per cent.
The best-performing large cap is Allkem (ASX:AKE), trading 1.46 per cent higher at $11.82. It is followed by shares in Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST).
The worst-performing large cap is Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM), trading 6.47 per cent lower at $25.16. It is followed by shares in Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) and Infratil (ASX:IFT).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1938.00 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.2 per cent higher at US$120.35 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.8 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 63.58 US cents.