Record night on Wall Street to boost ASX

The share market's record run extended into a fifth straight session despite a string of profit warnings.

The ASX 200 rallied 18 points or almost 0.3 per cent to 7082 by mid-session. The benchmark index topped out at a new all-time high of 7092.5 in the first hour and a half of trade. The advance stretched the index's gains for the new year beyond 6 per cent.

The big two miners set fresh six-month peaks after iron ore was boosted by solid Chinese economic data and the signing last week of a trade deal with the US. BHP rallied 1.7 per cent to its strongest point since last July. Rio Tinto rose 1.4 per cent, while Fortescue pushed further into post-GFC record territory with a surge of 3.4 per cent.  

A well-received quarterly from Silver Lake Resource helped lift the gold sub-index 1.2 per cent. Shares in Silver Lake put on 8.5 per cent on news of record gold and copper production at the company's three mining centres.

The rally in health stocks showed no sign of slowing, with the sector rising 0.7 per cent to its seventh record in eight sessions. Sector leaders CSL and Ramsay Health Care added 1.1 per cent. Cochlear declined by the same percentage.

The big four banks traded mixed, with Westpac the pick with an advance  of 0.6 per cent and Commonwealth bringing up the rear with a decline of 0.1 per cent.

The market mood was only moderately dampened by downbeat earning updates from online retailer Kogan, bricks-and-mortar retailer Super Retail Group, health insurer NIB and software specialist Gentrack.

 Kogan shares paid the price of heightened investor expectations, tumbling 17 per cent from an 18-month high after the first-half result missing analysts' growth targets. Super Retail Group warned that drought and bushfires had taken the edge off a strong start to the financial year. The retailer's shares plumbed a near three-month low before trimming their loss to 1.4 per cent.

NIB Group shed 13.4 per cent after cutting its underlying operating profit outlook from at least $200 million to at least $170 million. The insurer blamed an up-tick in claims. Rival Medibank Private was dragged down 2.6 per cent. Gentrack shares tanked 12.1 per cent to a level last seen in May 2016 after the company warned its sales pipeline had been hit by IT spending deferrals in Australia and the UK.  

A flat morning on Asian markets saw China's Shanghai Composite off 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng unchanged and Japan's Nikkei ahead 0.16 per cent. S&P 500 index futures were predictably flat ahead of tonight's US public holiday, up two points or less than 0.1 per cent.

Brent crude futures kicked higher, climbing 74 cents or 1.1 per cent this morning to $US65.59 a barrel. Gold eased $2.10 or 0.1 per cent to $US1,558.20 an ounce.

The dollar rose a tenth of a cent to 68.79 US cents.

What's hot today and what's not:

Hot today: shares in G Medical Innovations (GMV) hit a five-month high after the e-health company announced it had approval to launch a smartphone case in Taiwan. The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration approved GMV's Prizma device, which allows users to turn their phones into mobile medical monitors. CEO Yacov Geva hailed the approval as a major milestone. The company's shares were last up 4.5 cents or 34.6 per cent at 17.5 cents.   

Not today: shareholders in Ansila Energy (ANA) proved in no mood to wait for the results of pressure testing at the company's Siciny-2 well. While the company spruiked a successful frac and confirmation of methane gas flowing to surface, investors read between the lines and dumped their stock. The share price tumbled 31.3 per cent to 2.2 cents after the company said water inflow had prevented free gas flow, delaying analysis. The company plans to begin pressure tests this week.  

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