The Australian share market took slide at the open and has remained underwater this session with most of the sectors trading lower and the market trading near a four-month low on the back of the top 500 US stocks closing 1 per cent lower last week as the 10-year US yield popped to a fresh seven year high, fuelling interest rate hike concerns.
Local broker moves
UBS advised amid the Coles demerger by Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) it’s marked Wesfarmers a neutral stock with a 12 month price target of $48.50. UBS says its ‘incrementally negative on Coles’ outlook post the de-merger, due to weaker cash-flows’ in the nearer term. Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) shares are 0.91 per cent lower at $49.12 at noon.
Meantime A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) was upgraded to a neutral by Citi with a price target of $10.40 (12-months) and its share are seeing a rally.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 62 points (0.99 per cent) lower at 6124 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 63 points lower.
New York-based private equity business, KKR made an unsolicited $2.2 billion takeover offer for MYOB Group Limited (ASX:MYO) at a price of $3.70. That’s a 24 per cent premium to MYOB’s close price on Friday (5 October 2018). It comes after KKR purchased 17.6 per cent of the company from Bain Capital, at a price of $3.15 per share. KKR now has a 19.9 per cent holding in the company, including its prior holdings. MYOB has kicked off an assessment of the proposal and has UBS acting as a financial adviser and Clayton Utz as a legal adviser. MYOB Group (ASX:MYO) shares are 19.13 per cent higher at $3.55
Orocobre’s (ASX:ORE) lead independent director, Mr Courtney Pratt advised of his retirement from the board as he approaches his 72nd birthday. He has been working with the lithium leader and ‘been a guiding light for the board and management team’ since he joined eight years ago. He leaves the company as it’s expanding its Olaroz facility in Argentina and commissioning a lithium hydroxide plant in Japan. Shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) are trading 3.8 per cent lower to $4.30.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is S&P/ASX Real Estate Investment Trusts adding 0.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is S&P/ASX Materials, shedding 1.8 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is MYOB Group Limited (ASX:MYO), rising 19.13 per cent to $3.55, followed by shares in Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Alumina Limited (ASX:AWC), dropping 6.1 per cent to $2.87, followed by shares in Afterpay Touch Group LIMITED (ASX:APT) and South32 Limited (ASX:S32).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,203 an ounce.
Iron ore price is flat at US$69.24 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.01 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.49 US cents.
Bitcoin has gained 0.12 per cent to US$6,607, Ethereum added 0.5 per cent to US$226 and XRP has gained about 1 per cent to 49 US cents in the past 24 hours.