Downer (ASX:DOW) awarded $245 million contract: ASX 0.7% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

The Australian share market opened lower following losses from Wall Street and is now tracking 0.7 per cent lower at noon. Materials, Healthcare and Consumer Staples dragged on the market while Financials led the gains. Buy now, pay later stocks are trading lower after tech stocks fell on Wall Street. Accounting software Xero (ASX:XRO) is trading 2.4 per cent lower after plans to acquire workforce management platform, Planday were announced for $284.5 million while all four banks are performing well with ANZ up 2.6 per cent.

S&P/ASX 200

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 50 points down or 0.7 per cent lower at 6,768. On the futures market the SPI is 27 points lower.

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released data on international and retail trade.

Australia's trade surplus increased to $10.14 billion in January 2021 from $7.13 billion in December. This was the largest trade surplus on record as more countries reopen their economies following an easing of Covid-19 lockdowns. Exports rose 6 per cent to a ten-month high of $39.85 billion while imports fell 2 per cent to a three-month low of $29.71 billion.

Retail sales in Australia rose by 0.5 per cent month-on-month in January following a 4.1 per cent drop in December. Australian turnover rose 10.6 per cent compared to January 2020.

Company news

Integrated services company Downer (ASX:DOW) has been awarded a $245 million contract by ElectraNetto upgrade their existing electricity transmission network supplying the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The contract is to upgrade substations and build new transmission lines scheduled to start at the end of this month. Shares in Downer (ASX:DOW) are 1.4 per cent higher at $5.19.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Financial sadding 0.9 per cent while the worst performing sector is Health Care shedding 3.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is QBE (ASX:QBE) rising 3.2 per cent to $9.58, followed by shares in Computershare (ASX:CPU) and ARB (ASX:ARB).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is IGO (ASX:IGO) dropping 7.3 per cent to $6.56, followed by shares in Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and Monadelphous Group (ASX:MND).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,715 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.5 per cent to US$176.40
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.04 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.83 US cents.