Metcash jumps, Bapcor falls: Aus shares 0.2% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Matthew Wilson

Australian shares have been mixed with the market opening lower by around 20 points or 0.03 per cent before moving higher to be in positive territory. It has slipped lower again as it heads to lunchtime. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.2 per cent or 15.90 points lower at 7,225. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 24 points.

Boral (ASX:BLD) has agreed to sell its North American Fly Ash business for $US755 million (A$1 billion) to Eco Material Technologies. The net proceeds from the sale will add to surplus capital with the Boral board saying it will determine the most appropriate way to return surplus capital to shareholders at an appropriate time.

APRA approves Challenger (ASX:CGF) buyer. In July 2021, US retirement services group, Athene Holding, and its strategic partner, Apollo Global Management, agreed to buy 15 per cent of Challenger from an existing shareholder, 3.0 per cent of which was subject to regulatory approval from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority.

Olive oil producers Cobram Estate Olives (ASX:COB) is in a trading halt ahead of a proposed equity raising to be conducted by way of an institutional placement. It is believed the company is seeking to raise $50 million at $2 a share.

Magellan's (ASX:MFG) funds under management rose in November from $114.8 billion to $116.4 billion. Retail FUM dipped slightly however this was offset by a 2.0 per cent rise in institutional inflows to $86,184 million.

Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) has cut its earnings guidance for the 2022 financial year (ending January 2022), saying it now expects underlying EBITDA to be down around 10 per cent compared with financial year 2021. It was only in September that the company said it had been expecting growth of 5.0 per cent compared with financial year 2021.

Bapcor (ASX:BAP) was 8.5 per cent lower at $6.23 before recovering to $6.46 after the Board forced the early retirement if its CEO. 

Metcash (ASX:MTS) has jumped 5.6 per cent to $4.16 on news of a 31 per cent increase in its dividend to 10.5 cents. Group revenue rose 1.5 per cent to $8.5 billion with EBIT growing 13.9 per cent to $146.6 billion.

Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) is leading out of the major banks adding 0.2 per cent while ANZ (ASX:ANZ) is lagging, down 0.6 per cent. Iron ore miners are lower with BHP (ASX:BHP) weighing 2.3 per cent lower. ZIP Co (ASX:Z1P) was 7.7 per cent lower at $4.46 weighing down on the tech sector while biotech CSL (ASX:CSL) was $6.85 lower at $290.95.

IPOs

Australian Bond Exchange Holdings (ASX:ABE) has listed on the ASX today. Their shares issued at $0.65, started trading at $0.70 and are currently at $0.64.

Newmark Property REIT (ASX:NPR) has also listed on the ASX today. Their shares issued at $1.90, started trading at $1.93 and are currently at $1.95.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Consumer Staples, up 1.9 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 2.5 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR), trading 5.8 per cent higher at $1.63. It is followed by shares in Metcash (ASX:MTS) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), trading 7.6 per cent lower at $4.46. It is followed by shares in Redbubble (ASX:RBL) and Bapcor (ASX:BAP).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1782.60 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.2 per cent higher at US$98.50 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.79 per cent.
The Australian dollar was nearing an 18-month low on Monday morning following a sharp drop on Friday due to fears about the new Omicron strain of Covid. It was trading at midday at 70.16 US cents.
 

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