The Australian sharemarket is lifting higher this morning, led by gains in real estate, miners and energy stocks. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.7 per cent or 53.2 points higher at 7406.7. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 57 points.
All sectors are in the green. Real estate is the best performer, up 1.8 per cent, followed by energy, up 1.7 per cent, then materials, up 1.1 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is industrials, up 0.1 per cent.
Real estate investment groups were led by Charter Hall (ASX:CHC) advancing 4.6 per cent after upgrading its financial year 2022 earnings guidance.
Lithium miner Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) is up 4.4 per cent, while gold miner St Barbara (ASX:SBM) is up 3.7 per cent. Iron ore miners are also higher, led by BHP (ASX:BHP) up 2.4 per cent and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) up 1.7 per cent.
Energy stocks are lifting, led by Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) up 1.8 per cent. Major banks are higher, led by Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) up 0.9 per cent and Macquarie Group (ASX:MCQ) up 1.2 per cent.
In headlines, Ramsay Healthcare (ASX:RHC) is down 0.9 per cent after announcing it will acquire Elysium Healthcare for $1.4 billion.
Local economic news
National Skills Commission released the job vacancies report for November. In seasonally adjusted terms, job advertisements increased 0.6 per cent (or 1,600 ads) in November 2021 to stand at 252,300. This represents a slowing in recruitment activity growth following the recovery in job advertisement levels observed over the pervious two months, as all jurisdictions eased restrictions related to the Covid-19 delta outbreak. Nationally, job advertisement levels remain commensurate with a 13-year high.
The level of recruitment activity nationally remains significantly elevated compared to pre-Covid-19 levels, up by 50.1 per cent (or 84,200 job advertisements).
Ramsay Healthcare (ASX:RHC) has inked a deal to buy UK-based mental healthcare provider Elysium Healthcare for $1.4 billion from private equity firm BC Partners.
Explosives systems company Orica (ASX:ORI) has unveiled its plans to sell its Minova business to a European based investment firm, Aurelius Group for $180 million.
Centuria Office REIT (ASX:COF) has upgraded its financial year 2022 guidance after one of its clients renewed its lease for another three years in Queensland. The renewal, alongside other agreed leases, increased the building’s occupancy to 100 per cent.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trusts, up 1.8 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is Industrials, up 0.1 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is St Barbara (ASX:SBM), trading 4.3 per cent higher at $1.47. It is followed by shares in Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG), trading 3.6 per cent lower at $4.24. It is followed by shares in GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD) and QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1783.58 an ounce.
Iron ore is 3.8 per cent lower at US$102.60 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.9 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.64 US cents.