Victoria remains Australia's strongest performing economy: ASX tracking 0.4% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market has been on a rollercoaster in the first few hours of trade rising and dipping to now be tracking almost 0.4 per cent higher at noon.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 23 points up at 5,266. On the futures market the SPI is 0.8 per cent higher.

Local economic news

The latest CommSec economic rankings reveal how the state and territory economies were positioned heading into the coronavirus pandemic. Victoria remains Australia’s strongest performing economy, but it now shares top spot with Tasmania with strength in the building and purchase of homes. NSW remains consistently strong across all indicators but lost one position on dwelling starts in the quarter. The ACT is in fourth spot, supported by a strong job market and solid demand for homes. Queensland remains in fifth spot from South Australia and both are having to contend with relatively high jobless rates. Western Australia remains in seventh position, ahead of Northern Territory.

Broker moves

Ord Minnett rates (ASX:CAR) as an Upgrade to a Buy from a Hold. The company has indicated leads have started to show signs of improvement recently, while traffic and inventory are solid. The South Korean business has also held up well although conditions are deteriorating in Brazil. While the business is not immune to the current situation, is a critical channel for dealers, private sellers and original equipment manufacturers. Therefore, Ord Minnett expects the business will rebound well following the crisis and upgrades to Buy from Hold. Target is reduced to $15.72 from $18.98. Shares in (ASX:CAR) are up 2.3 per cent to $13.30.

Company news

Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) released a statement tody in response to an ASX query concerning media speculation of an offer. They confirm they have received a non-binding offer on a sale and leaseback basis from a party undertaking due diligence to acquire the Osborne Park (WAN) facility in Perth, land and buildings. Seven however is not in receipt of a binding offer. Shares in Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) are up 3.5 per cent at $0.09

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Industrails gaining 2.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Financiala losing 1.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is AP Eagers (ASX:APE) rising 11.9 per cent to $3.95, followed by shares in Domain (ASX:DHG) and Monadelphous (ASX:MND).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) dropping 5.1 per cent to $14.55, followed by shares in ANZ (ASX:ANZ) and Jumbo International (ASX:JIN).

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has risen 1.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar 

Gold is trading at US$1,723 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.1 per cent down at US$84.35
Iron ore futures are suggesting a rise of 0.41 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 64.33US cents.

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