Travel stocks rally, Magellan falls on CEO departure: ASX up 0.5% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket opened higher and held its spot in positive territory thanks to a rise in consumer discretionary, tech and travel stocks. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.5 per cent or 33.7 points higher at 7278.8. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 12 points.

Across the sectors, only 2 out of 11 are in the red. Consumer discretionary is adding the most points, up 1.3 per cent, followed by technology and real estate, both up 1 per cent. Meanwhile, utilities and materials are both down 0.4 per cent.

Travel stocks are rallying as Omricon fears ease. Qantas (ASX:QAN) is up 4.4 per cent, Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) up 5.4 per cent and Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) is up 5.6 per cent as the best-performing stock.

Tech stocks are also lifting, with buy now-pay later giant Aftepay (ASX:APT) rebounding from yesterday's performance, up 1.1 per cent. Meanwhile, Zip Co (AS:Z1P) is up 5.9 per cent following its trading update and wagering giant PoinstBet (ASX:PBH) is up 6.2 per cent, despite no officially released company news. 

In headlines this morning, Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) is down 3.7 per cent as the worst-performing stock, after news broke that its chief executive officer Brett Cairns will resign. Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) is up 4.1 per cent cent, despite a warning its operating profit margin is set to come under pressure.

Heavyweight miners are dragging, led by Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) down 1.7 per cent, despite iron ore prices trading higher. 

Local economic news

ANZ and Roy Morgan released their weekly consumer confidence, which increased 1.5 points to 107.5 on the first weekend of December. as vaccination rates continue to rise. Consumer confidence is below the 2021 weekly average of 108.1 and now 1.5 points below the same week a year ago, December 7/8, 2020 (109.0).

Consumer confidence this week was up in NSW, Queensland and WA, but saw small reductions in Victoria, SA and Tasmania. This week’s small increase was driven by Australians becoming more confident about their personal financial situations.

Australian Bureau of Statistics released the property price index results for the September quarter. The weighted average of the eight capital cities residential property price index rose 5 per cent this quarter and rose 21.7 per cent over the last twelve months.

The total value of residential dwellings in Australia rose $487 billion to $9,259.2 billion this quarter, and the mean price of residential dwellings rose $42,000 to $863,700.

To close off the day, the Reserve Bank is slated to convene at 2.30 AEDT for their final meeting this year.

Company news

Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG) has used a strategy update to reaffirm its FY22 guidance for gross written premium growth in the low single digits and an insurance margin of 10-12 per cent.

Metal recycling company Sims (ASX:SGM) has acquired the assets of Brisbane based metal recycler, Recyclers Australia for $18 million.

Magellan’s (ASX:MFG) chief executive officer Dr Brett Cairns is slated to step down due to personal reasons and chief financial officer Kirsten Morton will step in for the meantime.

Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) cuts net interest margin (NIM) guidance following a business performance update ahead of its annual general meeting.

RocketBoots (ASX:ROC) has listed on the ASX today. Their shares issued at $0.20, started trading at $0.17 and are currently at $0.185.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, up 1.3 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Materials, down 0.4 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD), trading 5.6 per cent higher at $23.21. It is followed by shares in PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH) and Zip Co (ASX:Z1P).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG), trading 3.89 per cent lower at $29.87. It is followed by shares in Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) and ASX (ASX:ASX).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1779.85 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.9 per cent higher at US$100.40 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.9 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.44 US cents.

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