Business conditions show weakness despite tax cuts: ASX tracking 0.6% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market shot up at the open despite poor leads from Wall Street. The market is now tracking 0.6 per cent higher at noon. Shares in Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV) rose today after they reported yesterday that its CEO Philippe Wolgen will stay with the company for three more years. The Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) share price has taken a dip today after almost quadrupling over the year. The lottery ticket seller hit a record high last month. As for the sectors, the Utilities sector is leading the way and Telcos are trailing behind in the first two hours of trade. 

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 36 points up at 6,600. On the futures market the SPI is 0.5 per cent higher.

Local economic news

Business conditions recorded a sixth consecutive below-average month, pointing to ongoing weakness in the business sector. Business conditions rose 1 point in September to +2 index points. This continues the below average run of business conditions but suggests that the trend weakening since mid-2018 has slowed.

Broker moves

UBS has downgraded Lendlease (ASX:LLC) from a Buy to a Neutral. The property group has a price target of $17.50. Shares in Lendlease (ASX:LLC) are currently 0.5 per cent higher at $17.29.

Company news

OceanaGold Corporation (ASX:OGC) says the New Zealand Government has granted Overseas Investment Act (“OIA”) approval of its application to purchase 178 hectares of land near the Waihi Gold Mine. The land will be used for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines. It comes after applications to purchase the same land were declined earlier this year. The New Zealand Ministers are satisfied the investment would result in a benefit to New Zealand because of the retention of hundreds of jobs and exports valued at $2 billion over nine years. Shares in OceanaGold Corporation (ASX:OGC) are currently trading 0.3 per cent higher at $3.94.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities adding 1.2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Communication Services gaining the least at 0.04 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX), rising 6.3 per cent to $0.59, followed by shares in HUB24 (ASX:HUB) and Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR), dropping 4.2 per cent to $0.90, followed by shares in Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) and Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,489 an ounce.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.31 US cents.

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