Rates could go to zero: Lowe: ASX 0.02% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market is on the rise and was tracking 0.02 per cent lower at noon. James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) shares are up after they posted their adjusted net operating profit (NOPAT) for FY20 (ending in March 2020) would be higher than consensus forecast. AMP (ASX:AMP) shares are also on the up after yesterday's announcement that they are pumping $1.3 billion into a three-year transformation program. Shares in Mirvac (ASX:MGR) are down – yesterday they posted a statutory profit of over $1 billion for its four years in a row. Meanwhile, we have been told zero interest rates are 'possible'. 

The S&P/ASX 200 index 

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 2 points down at 6,567. On the futures market the SPI is 0.1 per cent higher

Local economic news

RBA Governor Philip Lowe is speaking today on monetary policy.

He says: "It's possible we end up at the zero lower bound. I hope we can avoid it."

He notes interest rates in Switzerland, Japan and Europe are negative.

Company news

Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP) has joined a consortium managed by Charter Hall in the acquisition of 201 Elizabeth Street in Sydney as tenants in common. The transaction will complete in two tranches with settlement of 75 per cent stake in November 2019 and the balance between July and October 2020. Total consideration for the acquisition is $630 million. Abacus and Charter Hall will have full control of the building after the settlement of the first tranche. Shares in Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP) are 0.2 per cent lower at $4.13.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, adding 1.9 per cent, while the worst performing sector is REITs, shedding 1.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX), rising 14.1 per cent to $21.69, followed by shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and AMP (ASX:AMP).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR), dropping 4 per cent to $3.27, followed by shares in Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) and Norther Star Resources (ASX:NST).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has also added 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,504 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.9 per cent to US$94.12
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.1 US cents.

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