Investors await reaction to Trump's Hong Kong legislation: ASX tracking 0.4% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market rose at the open and is now tracking 0.4 per cent higher at noon. Investors are waiting to see how the markets react to US President DonaldTrump signing Hong Kong legislation that would impose sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights abuses in Hong Kong. This could cause problems as the US and China negiotiate an end to their trade talks. Shares in Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV) are on the up as are Perenti Global (ASX:PRN).

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 24 points up at 6,874. On the futures market the SPI is 24 points higher.

Economic News

The trend estimate for total new capital expenditure fell by 0.6 per cent in the September quarter 2019. This follows a fall of 0.8 per cent in the June quarter 2019.

Broker moves

Credit Suisse has upgraded Telstra (ASX:TLS) from a Neutral to an Outperform with a target price of $3.90 from $3.70. While recognising the stock has had a good run over the past 12 months, they believe momentum is positive. Shares in Telstra (ASX:TLS) are currently 3.1 per cent higher at $3.83.

Company news

Rural Funds Management, as responsible entity for the Rural Funds Group (ASX:RFF), has seen unitholders of RFM Poultry (NSX:RFP) approve the transaction today for the sale of RFF’s poultry assets to ProTen Investment Management Pty Ltd as trustee for ProTen. The cost will be $72 million, subject to agreement from the lessee to the early termination of the leases. Settlement of the transaction is expected to occur by 31 December 2019. Proceeds from the sale will be partially used to fund the acquisition of three WA cattle properties for $22.6 million, which are expected to settle in January 2020, earlier than previously announced. Shares in Rural Funds Group (ASX:RFF) are currently 0.3 per cent higher at $1.85.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Telcos, adding 2.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, gained the least at 0.05 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals rising 3.7 per cent to $28.95, followed by shares in Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) and Service Stream (ASX;SSM).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD), dropping 5 per cent to $11.11, followed by shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,457 an ounce.
Iron ore price lost 1.9 per cent to US$87.56.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.66 US cents.

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