EOFY selling, but Afterpay rallies: Aus shares 0.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market opened higher on the back of tech stocks rallying in the US, but we quickly entered negative territory as traders and investors take profits or sell down tax losses before the end of the financial year.

Afterpay Touch (ASX:APT) has seen a stellar gain of over 8.4 per cent after Goldman Sachs upgraded it to a buy. Its analysts have lifted the price target on its shares from $6.30 to $11.15, suggesting potential upside of about 30 per cent over the next 12 months.

Iron ore price falls 0.2 per cent to US$64.44, but its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.7 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 7 points or 0.1 per cent lower at 6,208. On the futures market the SPI is 6 points lower.

Economic news

Private sector credit grew less than expected in May, rising 0.2 per cent, compared to the expected growth and same growth in lending from the prior month, of 0.4 per cent. Year-on-year private sector borrowing rose less 4.8 per cent, less than the prior corresponding period’s 5.1 per cent gain.

Company news

Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) will suspend its iron ore processing at Mt Dove and reduce its mining rate at Mt Webber to 7 mega tones per annaum, coming into effect from July, and says FY18 guidance remains unchanged. Atlas will issue new production and costs guidance for FY18 in August. At the same time it also revised its average realised sales price higher to $61 per wet metric tonne (wmt) for the month of May. Atlas’ board is also recommending it proceed with the Hancock take over offer but not take any action at this stage. Shares in Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) last traded at $0.04

Financial software provider, Praemium (ASX:PPS) inked a five-year deal with CMC Markets, providing it with its ‘Tax Tools’ and tax reporting systems. The contract amount was not disclosed, however in the announcement it says its Tax Tools for a institutional client has a contract value of $1 million per year. Praemium (ASX:PPS) shares are trading about 3 per cent higher at $0.88.

Small company news

Junior oil and gas play, Pancontinental Oil and Gas (ASX:PCL) inked a deal to sell its US subsidiary gas field, which holds its Tulaninyo Gas Project. It’s set to receive $300,000 and $1 million worth of shares in Raven Energy (ASX:REV) who is buying the asset. There are also potential long term success payments to be made, based on gas reserves and attaining production.

Industrial hemp cultivation and hemp products will now be legalised in the US and as a result, shares in cannabis and hemp product company, Elixinol (ASX:EXL) have rallied. It comes as the US Senate has passed hemp farming legislation, opening up trade opportunities for the company, as hemp will now be considered as an agricultural crop. At noon, shares in Elixinol (ASX:EXL) are trading 7.9 per cent higher at $1.50.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is utilites adding 0.9 per cent, while the worst performing sector is healthcare, shedding 0.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Afterpay Touch Group Limited (ASX:APT), rising 8.4 per cent to $9.31, followed by shares in Perpetual Limited (ASX:PPT) and Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX).
The worst performing stock in the

S&P/ASX 200 is Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM), dropping 2.9 per cent to $0.84, followed by shares in Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) and Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.07 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,247 an ounce. Gold fell to its lowest point in 3.5 years.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.41 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin trades at US$5,887, Ethereum is at US$422 and EOS is at US$7.41