Australian Stock Market Report – Midday 3/26/14

By @ibtimesau on

Mid Session Report (12:30 AEDT)

The Australian share market is performing strongly at lunchtime in the East, following a rebound on European and US share markets overnight. European markets rose on Tuesday, lifted by expectations of stimulus measures from the European Central Bank, while a rebound in biotech shares helped Wall Street.

At lunchtime in the East, the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) is firmer by 0.8 per cent.

Every sector is trading higher, with the miners a particular standout on firmer commodity prices. The materials sector is up 1.7 per cent.

In company news, agricultural chemicals and seeds supplier Nufarm (NUF) has more than doubled its first half profit to $18.8 million, thanks to tax credits and strong growth from its South American business. Shareholders will receive a fully-franked interim dividend of three cents per share. NUF expects its full year profit to be above the $81 million it recorded last financial year, however shareholders are still selling out of the stock, today - sending NUF shares down 2.2 per cent to $4.04.

Elsewhere shares in vehicle retailer and logistics company Automotive Holdings Group (AHE) are up five per cent to $3.78 in early trade following two business takeover announcements. AHE will buy Scott's Refrigerated Freightways and has also struck a deal for the proposed purchase of NSW car dealership Bradstreet Motor Group.

The Australian dollar is at a three month high against the greenback buying US91.63c. Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens is speaking in Hong Kong later this afternoon and may try to talk down the resilient currency.

So far, 855 million shares have changed hands, worth $1.9 billion. 433 are up, 331 are down and 299 are unchanged.

At 12.15pm AEDT the SFE 200 Futures Index is at 5390, up 52 points or one per cent.

The Dow Jones Futures Index is flat at 16298 points.

Japan's NIKKEI Index is firmer by 0.4 per cent.

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