M&A takeover talk boost sentiment: Aus shares flat at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is trying to hang on to its post today and the local bourse has been in a out of red territory with acquisition talk propping up sentiment.

Most of the sectors are trading higher at noon with Consumer Discretionary and Health Stocks rising the most.

Navitas (ASX:NVT) shares popped 21.6 per cent higher to a level they were at back in January this year, on the back receiving a takeover offer from AustralianSuper, BGH and Rodney Jones for $2 billion at $5.50 per share (potentially taking the firm private). That's a 26 per cent premium to its close price on 9 October 2018.

Broker moves

Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) was upgraded to a neutral, from a sell position by Citi, as earnings post its FY18 results are looking positive on the back of rising airfares. It really comes as Citi says if current levels hold, oil prices in AUD terms are likely to rise by 40 per cent year-on-year in FY19 and the scale of this should move through to airfares. Its 12-month price target is $57.00.

The S&P/ASX 200 index at noon

3 points or 0.05 per cent lower at 6,038. On the futures market the SPI is 51 points lower.

Local economic news

Total construction work done in the June quarter rose 0.9 per cent, but it fell slightly over the year by 0.1 per cent in seasonably adjust terms.

Company news

Kirkland Lake Gold (ASX:KLA) announced record quarterly gold production in the third quarter, exceeding its targets on the back of Fosterville and its Canadian operations. It was a 30 per cent increase from about 140,000 ounces to 180,000 ounces. Shares in Kirkland Lake Gold (ASX:KLA) are trading 0.7 per cent higher at $27.50 at noon.

Pet company, Greencross (ASX:GXL) responded to media speculation about a potential takeover by a private equity firm, saying it is engaging with a number of parties regarding what it’s calling ‘credible proposals’. The proposals are non-binding and incomplete and confidential, and there is no certainty of a proposal or if the board will make a recommendation. Shares in Greencross (ASX:GXL) are trading 15.7 per cent higher at $4.79 at noon.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is S&P/ASX Health Care adding 1.5 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Utilities, shedding 0.97 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Navitas Limited (ASX:NVT), rising 21.4 per cent to $0.00, followed by shares in Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX) and Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited (ASX:DMP).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE), dropping 5.1 per cent to $3.94, followed by shares in Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) and Ausdrill Limited (ASX:ASL).

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.04 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,191 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 2.5 per cent US$71.14.and its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.27 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Lower: Bitcoin has fallen 0.2 per cent to US$6,638 Ethereum fallen about 0.8 per cent to US$228.