The Australian share market opened with more losses this morning and is now tracking 1.2 per cent lower at noon with Ooh! Media (ASX:OML) and Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE) taking some of the biggest hits with Perpetual (ASX:PPT) leading the losses. Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) is the best performer following the company’s update on their new soft tissue reconstruction study.
The best-performing sector is Materials, while the worst performing sector is Information Technology.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 77 points down at 6,359. On the futures market the SPI is 41 points lower.
Local economic news
The AiG will release performance of construction for February.
UBS has upgraded Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) to a Buy. UBS suspects, given commodity volatility stemming from the coronavirus outbreak, China is likely to introduce commodity-intensive stimulus to soften any economic downturn. The broker upgrades 2020 and 2021 iron ore prices by 9% and 7% respectively. With West Pilbara fines becoming a larger proportion of the product mix in late 2020, the broker lifts price realisation to 90%. Rating is upgraded to Buy from Sell and the target is lifted to $10.20 from $9.30.
Phoslock Environmental Technologies (ASX:PET) long-serving Managing Director, Robert Schuitema is retiring after 15 years with the company. He will be replaced by Lachlan McKinnon at the company’s Annual General Meeting in May. Lachlan McKinnon joined Phoslock Environmental Technologies earlier this year as CEO and prior to his appointment, Mr McKinnon had a 30-year career with Nufarm. Shares in Phoslock Environmental Technologies (ASX:PET) are 4.1 per cent lower at 58 cents.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Materials adding 0.2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Information Technology shedding 3.2 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) rising 7.6 per cent to 64 cents, followed by shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRL).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Perpetual (ASX:PPT), dropping 8 per cent to $35.73, followed by shares in Computershare (ASX:CPU) and Janus Henderson (ASX:JHG).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,641 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.4 per cent down at US$88.55.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.11 US cents.