The ASX market has started the day on the up, with the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) gaining 0.8% by noon. Today’s gains follow a strong session on Wall Street overnight, where US stocks raced higher, leading both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 to record closing highs.
Despite the positive offshore leads, local investors remain wary ahead of tonight’s Federal Budget, with many believed to be sitting on the side-lines until after the budget release.
In company news, a takeover offer for PanAust has sent the precious miner’s share price soaring.
Nearly all sectors are showing gains with the materials sector up nearly 2%; other strong performers include information technology and health care. The only sector to lose ground this morning is property.
Here are the top five best performing stocks in the index at midday today:
- PanAust Limited (ASX: PNA) has soared 32.3% to $2.09
- OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) has jumped 7.8% to $4.00
- Sandfire Resources NL (ASX: SFR) has rallied 5.2% to $5.89
- Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) has climbed 4.9% to $1.17
- Arrium Ltd (ASX: ARI) has gained 3.8% to $1.10
These are the five worst performing stocks at midday today: