The Australian share market opened higher this morning and is now trading 2.8 per cent up at noon. In breaking news UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital, 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. Mr
Johnson’s update came within hours of the Queen’s address on the recent crisis and its personal and financial impacts.
Corporate Travel (ASX:CTD) is leading the top 200 gains at midday, up over 11 per cent, with Web Jet (ASX:WEB) coming in last.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 142 points up at 5,209. On the futures market the SPI is 162 points up.
Citi has rated Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) as a Buy. The broker says it finds it impossible to accurately forecast earnings for the short term but assesses the company's debt position remains strong and once the current COVID-19 crisis has passed, the relative value of hospital infrastructure will be enhanced.
Citi assumes the Australian and UK fourth quarter operating earnings (EBITDA) will be zero, as hospital infrastructure is made available for the government's pandemic preparations.
FY21-22 estimates are unchanged. Buy retained. Target is reduced to $70 from $75. Shares in Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) are trading 5.2 per cent higher at $59.82 at noon.
G8 Education (ASX:GEM) has extended its trading halt. The childcare operator requested its shares be suspend as it continues to finalise its update to the market regarding the impact of COVID-19 on current trading performance and the forecast impact of the Government Support Package on the Company's operations and financial performance and its capital position. Trade in G8 shares was halted on Thursday last week, and will remain in place until Wednesday, after the government announced a childcare sector support package that from today free childcare will be available across the country for essential workers. Shares in G8 Education (ASX:GEM) last traded at $1.08.
Best and worst performers - all sectors are in the green.
The best-performing sector is Information Technology, adding 3.8 per cent, while the sector with the fewest gains is Communication Services adding 1.4 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Corporate Travel (ASX:CTD), rising 11.4 per cent to $8.80, followed by shares in Magellan (ASX:MFG) and NRW
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Web Jet (ASX:WEB) dropping 7 per cent to $2.52, followed by shares in IDP Education (ASX:IEL) and NEXTDC (ASX:NXT).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,620 an ounce.
Iron ore price is down 0.5 per cent to US$83.30
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 60.17 US cents.