The Australian share market opened flat following mixed leads from international markets. It has built momentum over the morning and is tracking 0.3 per cent higher at noon. All of the sectors are in the black this morning, except Consumer Staples. Energy is leading the gains.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 17 points higher at 5,234. On the futures market the SPI is 19 points higher.
Credit Suisse rates JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) as a neutral and has downgraded its 12-month price target to $32.87. The broker believes that the surge in demand that occurred in March and April may be underwriting a strong result but notes the significant uncertainty in the company’s outlook as household income and business cash flow declines. Credit Suisse says the business is still best-in-class and that consolidation of the large home appliances segment could benefit JB Hi-Fi in the medium term. Shares in JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) are trading 1.3 per cent lower at $32.82 at noon.
Nickel miner, Western Areas (ASX:WSA) has reiterated its full year cost and production guidance. In its quarterly results for the three months ending 31 March 2020, the company says that nickel mined was up 47 tones from the previous quarter to 5,896 tonnes. The amount of nickel sold shot up by 50 per cent compared to the previous quarter to 6,038 tonnes. The company noted that this is partially due to a shipment which was deferred from the December quarter as a result of the bushfires. The falling nickel price was partially offset by the weaker Australian dollar for the quarter. The company expects that the “closure of various international nickel operations due to Covid19 related government suspensions or lower prices, is expected to assist in rebalancing the wider nickel market.” Shares in Western Areas (ASX:WSA) are trading 0.9 per cent lower at $2.12 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Energy, adding around 2.5 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Staples, shedding 0.03 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Southern Cross Media Group (ASX:SXL), rising 10.9 per cent to 13 cents, followed by shares in NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) and Webjet (ASX:WEB).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Orocobre (ASX:ORE) dropping 4.6 per cent to $2.08, followed by shares in Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP),and Challenger (ASX:CGF).
Lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.4 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,724 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.7 per cent to US$84.46.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 63.55 US cents.