3-week high: Aus shares 0.5% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market has gained 0.5 per cent, hitting a 3 week high, taking the local bourse back to where it was on 6 September, with mostly all the sectors in profit territory today.

Five sectors are trading about 1 per cent higher at around noon with Industrials and Materials, Healthcare leading the charge. While Financials are making a minor gains as we await the banking royal commission's interim report,

Broker moves

UBS downgraded Westpac Bank (ASX:WBC) and maintained its sell rating, dropping its 12 month price target from $26 to $25 after the big four announced cash earnings will be reduced by $235 million, as it addresses customer issues and allows for litigation costs. That amounts to about 3 per cent EPS.

Citi’s 12 month target price for Westpac is $31, while Bell Potter dropped its target price for Westpac to $29.75.

Westpac aside, UBS says it’s very cautious on the Australians banks.

Turning the page, agricultural company, Nufarm’s (ASX:NUF) had its hold rating maintained by Bell Potter.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 32 points up at 6214. On the futures market the SPI is 41 points higher.

Economic news

Private sector credit rose 4.5 per cent over the year to August, this was a drop from the prior reading’s 5.4 per cent. On a monthly basis, for August, credit rose 0.5 per cent, more than the 0.4 per cent expected and inked in July.

Company news

Hometown’s takeover offer for the over 50's residential community company, Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX:GTY) is now fully unconditional. Hometown also now owns 48.1 per cent of Gateway. Shares in Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX:GTY) are trading 0.2 per cent lower at $2.25 at noon.

$3.8 billion electricity network provider, Spark Infrastructure Group (ASX:SKI) presented to investors in North America and its shares received a lot of buy and its reversed yesterday’s losses and is back is trading back where it was on Monday 25 September. Its shares are 1.8 per cent higher at $2.22 at noon.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Industrials adding 1.2 per cent, while the sector with the fewest gains is Telco Services, adding 0.02 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nanosonics (ASX:NAN), rising 5.9 per cent to $3.62, followed by shares in Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M), dropping 3.3 per cent to $10.20, followed by shares in Blackmores (ASX:BKL) and Speedcast International (ASX:SDA).

Asian markets =

Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,185 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.4 per cent to US$68.67 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 1.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.16 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has gained 3 per cent to US$6,712, Ethereum gained about 5.5 per cent to US$230 and Bitcoin Cash has gained about 7.5 per cent to US$570.