ASX nearing 4-month lows: Aus shares 1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

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.

Company news

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.

Cryptocurrencies

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. 

 

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 with a passion for equities and funds management. As Head of News, she has been a broadcast journalist for over seven years, specialising in finance. She has been a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business and ABC24. She’s also worked as a TV reporter for regional Channel 7 and 9. She also previously worked as a financial planner and real estate agent.