Estia Health (ASX:EHE) weighs on the Healthcare sector: ASX trading flat at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market drifted lower following soft leads from Wall Street and is now tracking 0.06 per cent lower at noon. The Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) shares are dropping – they reported an 11 per cent increase in net profit compared to the first half of 2019 but if you compare these figures to the second half of 2019, the company experienced a 13 per cent decrease. Iluka (ASX:ILU) shares are still dropping after they flagged $2 billion demerger of BHP iron ore royalties.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 4 points down at 6,660. On the futures market the SPI is 10 points lower.

Broker moves

UBS has upgraded construction materials company Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC) to a Neutral from a sell, with a 12-month price target of $3.00. UBS notes that the pullback in housing and construction activity has made it a tough 2019 for the company. Shares in Adelaide Brighton (ASXABC) is 1.1 per cent lower at $3.04.

Company news

Uniti Group (ASX:UWL) is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed the acquisition of wholesale licensed telecommunications carrier OPENetworks. The OPEN acquisition is forecast to be earnings accretive in FY20. The OPEN acquisition works with the acquisition of LBNCo completed on 30 September 2019. UWL continues to actively pursue further earnings accretive acquisitions. UWL Chairman, Graeme Barclay says: “This acquisition brings together the second and third largest private fibre network businesses and is an exciting development for UWL. Shares in Uniti Group (ASX:UWL) is trading 0.3 per cent higher at $1.48.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Healthcare, adding 0.9 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Financials, shedding 0.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Estia Health (ASX:EHE) rising 3.9 per cent to $2.92, followed by shares in Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS)

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pro Medicus (ASX:PME), dropping 6 per cent to $25.05, followed by shares in Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) and Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,513 an ounce.
Iron ore price shed 1.3 per cent to US$85.97
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.95 US cents.