Insurance & credit move Thursday: Aus shares 0.3% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australia share market is lacking direction today with about half of the market’s sectors in profit territory with tech, Financials and Property leading the way. While Energy is down over 1 per cent after oil sank 3 per cent earlier, to below US$70.00 after a rise in US stockpiles. Materials are almost 1 per cent lower, despite a strong rally in the iron ore price, and the dollar hovering at 71 US cents since the beginning of October.

Broker moves

The Reject Shop (ASX:TRS) was downgraded from a buy to a Neutral by Goldman Sachs on ‘limited visibility on earnings’, after the company advised its 1H2019 NPAT guidance will be $10-$11 million, down from its implied NPAT of $17.7 million. It shares are 0.4 per cent higher at noon $2.74

The S&P/ASX 200 index 

20 points or 0.3 per cent lower at 5,919 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 28 points lower.

Local economic news

Trend unemployment remained at a six-year low, according to the ABS (5.2 per cent), while the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5 per cent, down from the previous 5.3 per cent and also beating market consensus it would remain at that level.

Company news

An Australasian insurance broking network, Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF) says it’s seeing better than expected first quarter organic growth and has upgraded its FY19 earnings (EBITDA) guidance to between $190 million to $200 million and its underlying profit (NPAT) to be range between $85 million and $90 million. Shares in Steadfast Group Limited (ASX:SDF) are trading 5.84 per cent higher at $2.90 at noon.

Debt buying company, Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) has seen a rally today, propelling its shares to one of the best performing posts. It comes after the corporate regulator expanded its intervention into buy-now pay later providers, which saw Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares tumble yesterday by about 19 per cent to $11.35. But APT shares are trading about 15 per cent higher today, back o the $13.02 level. Meantime, shares in Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) are trading 3.55 per cent higher at $19.52 at noon.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is S&P/ASX Telco Services adding 0.86 per cent, while the worst performing sector is S&P/ASX Energy shedding 1.04 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT), rising 14.19 per cent to $12.96 (at noon), followed by shares in Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF) and Seven West Media (ASX:SWM).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL), dropping 6.21 per cent to $8.61, followed by shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Boral (ASX:BLD).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,223 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 2.6 per cent to US$73.36. Its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.94 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.25 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 0.7 per cent to US$6,543, Ethereum dropped about 1.4 per cent to US$207, and XRP gained about 0.1 per cent to $0.4687.