The Australian share market opened lower and slid throughout the morning as the big four bank rally that we have been seeing the first 4 sessions of the week came to an end. It is now tracking 1.1 per cent lower at noon.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 63 points down at 5,788. On the futures market the SPI is 76 points lower.
Local economic news
The Reserve Bank of Australia released private sector credit data for the month of April. Private sector credit growth was flat in April compared to the previous month, defying the market’s expectation of a 0.9 per cent rise. This followed on from the 1.1 per cent increase we saw in March.
Credit Suisse rates Nine Entertainment Co Holdings (ASX:NEC) as an Outperform with a 12 month price target of $2.00. Nine Entertainment has confirmed a revised contract with the NRL covering the remainder of the existing rights deal out to 2022 financial year. Under the new arrangement, there will no longer be a Saturday night game on view in 2020, but the broker expects this to have limited revenue impact in the current environment. Shares in Nine Entertainment Co Holdings (ASX:NEC) are trading flat at $1.48.
Multicloud Connectivity company Megaport (ASX:MP1) has appointed Sean Cassidy as its new chief financial officer. Mr Cassidy has previous experience at Blu Wireless Technology in the UK, where he was chief financial officer for two years. Shares in Megaport are trading just over 2 per cent higher at $13.65.
Shipbuilder, Austal (ASX:ASB) has increased its financial year 2020 earnings guidance. It now expects group revenue to reach approximately $2 billion and says group EBIT should be around $125 million. This is partially because covid 19 has had a more limited impact on the company’s performance in April and May than originally anticipated. Shares in Austal (ASX:ASB) are trading 7.9 per cent higher at $3.27.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Communications, adding 0.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Financials, shedding 2.5 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), rising 8.3 per cent to $14.89, followed by shares in Austal (ASX:ASB) and Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is V Money UK (ASX:VUK),dropping 8.5 per cent to $1.84, followed by shares in New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) and Westpac (ASX:WBC).
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is flat.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,720 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.8 per cent to US$97.09.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.9 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.34 US cents.