Tech tumbles, NSW restrictions to start: ASX 0.3% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

Text-only (non-video) report.

The Australian share market dipped in morning trade after opening in the green with declines mainly broad based with energy as the only standout sector in the green. The market also responded to the news of the covid-19 cases in NSW as Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced new restrictions for the next three days. Mining heavyweights helped decelerate the losses as iron ore prices rose by 2 per cent with the likes of BHP (ASX:BHP) up 3.1 per cent, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) adding 1.7 per cent with copper mining company, Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) up 2.3 per cent and Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) up 1.6 per cent. Insurance companies were in the spotlight with the likes of QBE (ASX:QBE) up 2.9 per cent and IAG (ASX:IAG) up 1.7 per cent. The worst performing sector is Information Technology with Nearmap (ASX:NEA) down 17.5 per cent on the announcement of a litigation against their US-based business. Travel companies were flying in the red with Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) sliding over 6 per cent. Qantas is down over 2.3 per cent following news on keeping their offices in their respective locations while the consumer watchdog proposed to knock back the flying kangaroo’s partnership with Japan Airlines. Adore Beauty (ASX:ABY) tumbled over 14 per cent after their revenue rose by 47 per cent to $39.4m over the past quarter. On the banking front, NAB (ASX:NAB) shares dived over 3 per cent despite nearly doubling its cash profit and interim dividend. Wealth and investment platform providers are down with the likes of Netwealth (ASX:NWL) and Hub24 (ASX:HUB) dropping over 5.2 per cent.

ASX 200

The S&P/ASX 200 is 0.33 per cent or 23.50 points lower at 7072.30 at noon.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 42 points

Economic news

Deputy Governor Guy Debelle is to deliver the “Monetary Policy during Covid” speech in Perth this evening before the release of its quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy tomorrow.

Broker moves

Credit Suisse rates ANZ (ASX:ANZ) as a neutral with a lowered target price of $28.50 from $29.50. The downgrade from an outperform followed the bank’s first half year results. The broker has upgraded FY21 earnings estimate by 1 per cent while also downgrading earnings forecasts by -1-3 per cent in outer years due to lower expected markets income. Credit Suisse also notes that the bank has been ahead on many aspects like portfolio re-positioning, remediation and their share price rise but most of this is already factored into Credit Suisse's forecasts. While expecting ANZ Bank to deliver, the broker believes outsized upgrades in the near term are less likely and downgrades to neutral from outperform. Shares in ANZ are trading 1.25 per cent lower at $27.55.

Company news

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Banking giant National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) has bumped up its interim dividend twofold from last year's payout to 60 cents per share, after its cash profit exceeded forecasts for the first half of FY21.

Qantas (ASX:QAN) will continue its head office in Sydney and maintain their Jetstar operations in Melbourne following the start of their property footprint review in September 2020. The company has committed to keeping their heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane and establish a new flight training centre with aircraft simulators in NSW from 2023.

The ACCC is planning to knock back the plan for Qantas (ASX:QAN) and Japan Airlines to coordinate flights as the watchdog claims it breaches competition laws.

Aerial imagery specialist Nearmap (ASX:NEA) told investors that it is conscious of litigation by a consortium of rivals against its US subsidiary over a patent infringement allegation.

Owner and manager of Westfield shopping centres Scentre (ASX:SCG) reports a 27 per cent increase in collected gross rent cash collections from January to April this year to $802 million when compared to the same time in 2020.

Online beauty retailer Adore Beauty (ASX:ABY) reports a 47 per cent rise in revenue to $39.4 million in the March quarter for Q3 FY21 when compared to the prior corresponding period. Their active customers at the end of the quarter climbed 69 per cent to 687,000.

Under-pressure wealth manager AMP (ASX:AMP) has introduced cuts between 12 per cent and 22 per cent to its admin fees for superannuation and investment services.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, up 1.57 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 2.22 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is BHP Group (ASX:BHP), trading 3.08 per cent higher at $50.26. It is followed by shares in QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) and Alumina (ASX:AWC).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nearmap (ASX:NEA), trading 17.37 per cent lower at $1.95. It is followed by shares in Appen (ASX:APX) and Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1786.85 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.00 per cent higher at US$192.54 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.48 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.56 US cents.

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