ASX snaps three-day losing streak: Aus shares 0.1% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market has snapped its three-day losing streak. Despite falling at the open, the local bourse is pushing higher on Wednesday and the top 200 is making modest gains with S&P/ASX 200 index 8 points or 0.1 per cent higher at 5,852 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 76 points lower.

The Energy sector is continuing to weigh on the market, with the oil price continuing its slide, shedding 4 per cent, its biggest daily loss in three months, hitting a month low of $US66.28.

Broker moves

Citi issued an alert for Australia's second largest private hospital operator, Healthscope (ASX:HSO) saying the revived BGH - AustralianSuper Consortium takeover bid is a 32 per cent premium for $4.1 billion at $2.36 cash per share. HSO rejected the consortium’s first bid on 22 May 2018. Yesterday its shares gained 19 per cent, today it’s 0.9 per cent higher. at noon. 

Citi upgraded Brambles (ASX:BXB) revenue forecast, after its sales performance came in line with Citi’s forecast. It’s trading 3.7 per cent higher at noon. 

Centuria Metropolitan REIT (ASX:CMA) has been upgraded to a buy, by Shaw and Partners with the broker noting the Hines portfolio purchase adds scale and it will ‘soon be’ a ‘pure play’ office REIT. Its price target to $2.54. It’s trading 0.2 per cent higher at $2.42.

Company news

Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU), which is the largest producer of zircon and titanium dioxide, reported a 20 per cent rise in mineral sands revenue and a 30 per cent rise in revenue per tonne, over the year to September, compared to the same time last year. It comes despite the firm seeing a 10 per cent fall in production compared (over the same periods). In the firm’s September quarter update, it noted that the market and prices for zircon and high-grade titanium dioxide had been stronger than the first half year’s prices. Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU) shares are trading 0.1 per cent lower at $8.54 at noon.

WorleyParsons Limited (ASX:WOR) has raised $1.8 billion at $15.56 per share via an institutional entitlement offer, to partially fund theUS$3.3 billion purchase of technical services provider, Jacobs ECR. Just days ago, WorleyParsons (ASX:WOR) had its buy rating reiterated by Citi, really as the acquisition will diversify and geographically expand its business. Cit’s price target for the firm. $20.70. Shares in WorleyParsons (ASX:WOR) are trading 6.1 per cent lower at $15.89 at noon.

IPOs

Product sampling and digital promotions platform, PINCHme.com Inc. (ASX:PIN) started trading today. It floated with an issue price of $0.50, opened at $0.44 and its trading at $0.39.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Healthcare adding 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, it’s down by 2.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Regis Resources (ASX:RRL), rising 4.5 per cent to $4.34, followed by shares in Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Pendal Group Limited (ASX:PDL).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL), dropping 8.8 per cent to $7.74, followed by shares in Worleyparsons (ASX WOR) and Nufarm (ASX:NUF).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,232 an ounce (It hit its highest level in 3-months on global geopolitical tension)
Iron ore price rose 0.7 per cent to US$74.31 and its futures are flat.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.94 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has fallen 0.1 per cent to US$6,480, Ethereum is steady at US$204 and XRP has gained about 1.8 per cent to US$0.46.