The Australian share market crawled up at the open before sliding down and is now trading 0.6 per cent lower at noon. Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced NSW has recorded 20 new COVID-19 cases overnight, the state's highest figure since since the end of April, meanwhile Victoria has confirmed 275 new infections. BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL) is leading the top 200 gains at midday, up almost 4 per cent, with Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) coming in last.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 36 points lower at 5,998. On the futures market the SPI is 36 points down.
Credit Suisse has rated BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL) as Outperform. BlueScope Steel’s second-half operating income at $260m topped forecasts, with the broker noting the FY20 operating income missed the pre-covid-19 guidance by only about 7%. Credit Suisse reports the result was driven by its core division along with a modest impact to the US’s North Star volumes and being able to maintain earnings in its Building Products business. While Covid-19 poses a threat in terms of demand for steel, the broker expects the company’s strong balance sheet will help sail it through a period of market weakness. Shares in BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL) are trading 3.8 per cent higher at $11.67.
Catapult Group (ASX:CAT) has reported it generated net free cash of $9 million in FY20, an improvement of $24.1 million on FY19, and achieving cash flow positivity a year earlier than forecast.The company says group revenues continued to grow despite the postponement of many professional sporting leagues globally, driven by the subscription nature of most of Catapult’s revenue and the scalability of the business model. The company said in the early stages of COVID-19, Catapult management adopted a conservative approach by instituting cost control measures and managing working capital. Catapult’s subscription-based revenue performed better than anticipated, enabling management to deliver positive cash flow ahead of plan. Shares in Catapult Group International (ASX:CAT) are trading 11.8 per cent higher at $1.42.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Information Technology, adding 0.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector this morning, is Energy shedding 2.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL) rising 3.9 per cent to $11.68, followed by shares NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) and ALS (ASX:ALQ).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) dropping 6.8 per cent to $7.63, followed by shares in Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA) and Webjet (ASX:WEB).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,809 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 1.2 per cent to US$110.31
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.82 US cents.