At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to record a decent gain. The benchmark index is currently up 0.3% to 6,708.3 points.
Here’s what is happening on the market today:
Afterpay surges higher.
The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price is back on form on Thursday and is surging higher. Improving sentiment in the tech sector and a positive broker note appear to be the drivers of this gain. In respect to the latter, this morning Morgan Stanley retained its overweight rating and lifted its price target on the payments company’s shares to $136.00. The broker notes that app downloads have been increasing strongly in the US and UK.
Pro Medicus $40 million contract win.
The Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME) share price is rocketing higher today after the leading health imaging software company announced another major new contract win. Pro Medicus has signed a seven-year contract worth $40 million with Salt Lake City based Intermountain Healthcare. The deal will see its Visage 7 Viewer and Visage 7 Open Archive products implemented across all of Intermountain’s radiology and subspecialty imaging departments.
Whitehaven Coal climbs higher.
The Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price is climbing higher today following the release of its quarterly update. For the three months ended 31 December, Whitehaven Coal achieved a 64% increase in managed run-of-mine (ROM) production to 5.1Mt. And while its sales were flat on the prior corresponding period, management has tightened its guidance range to between 19Mt and 20Mt from 18.5Mt and 20Mt. The company also revealed that coal prices have been improving strongly.
Best and worst ASX 200 performers.
The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the Pro Medicus share price. Its shares are up 12.5% following its $40 million contract win. The worst performer on the index has been the Abacus Property Group (ASX: ABP) share price with a decline of almost 5%. This is due largely to its shares trading ex-dividend today for its 8.5 cents per share interim dividend.