The Australian share market opened in the red and has started to claw out of negative territory and is heading for its second day of straight gains, taking the local bourse back to where it sat on Monday, 680 points or 11 per cent away from the 10-year high we hit on 30 August.
Over half of the sectors are trading higher with Staples out in front, following the Chinese government relaxing its importing legislation (which we touched on yesterday). The Consumer Discretionary sector follows along with Property.
Importantly, from the outset we had no leads to follow as Wall Street is closed for Thanksgiving, so all eyes are on ASX announcements and broker upgrades.
Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) has been downgraded to a sell by Citi, with a 12-month price target of $29.20, a huge drop from its 12-month target of $45.30. Citi says the group will face a slow down on the back of Bunnings facing tougher demand as the housing market cools, coupled with the fact that WES spun out Coles. It also estimates WES' EBIT growth will be 1.7 per cent in FY19 and 3.8 per cent in FY20. At noon, WES share are trading 1.9 per cent higher at $31.91.
S&P/ASX 200 index
0.2 per cent or 14 points higher at 5,705 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 54 points higher.
Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG) shares have fallen to new six-year low after the automotive retailer and logistics group announced its operating profit for the first four months of this financial year, is lower than expected. Its operating net profit after tax (NPAT) fell 45 per cent from July to October this year, compared to the same time last year. It comes on the back of higher interest costs and negative impacts from currency movements on it KTM Sportsmotorcycles earnings. Full-year NPAT should now be $56 million to $59 million. Shares in Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG) are trading 6.6 per cent lower at $1.70 at noon. Year-on-year its shares are trading about 54 per cent lower.
Shares in UK-based banking group which owns Virgin Money, CYBG PLC (ASX:CYB) are seeing some selling today, just days after CYBG announced its preliminary 2018 results and a statutory loss of £145 million after tax. Its Integration Director and the former CFO of Virgin Money, Peter Bole has also been granted awards under a deferred equity plan, with the transaction taking place through the London Stock Exchange. Shares in CYBG PLC (ASX:CYB) are trading 6.3 per cent lower at $3.38 at noon. Year-on-year its shares are trading 39 per cent lower.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Consumer Staples adding 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Telco Services, shedding 1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Costa Group Holdings Limited (ASX:CGC), rising 7.1 per cent to $7.05, followed by shares in ARB Corporation (ASX:ARB) and Super Retail Group Limited (ASX:SUL).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHG), dropping 6.6 per cent to $1.70, followed by shares in Technology One Limited (ASX:TNE) and CYBG (ASX:CYB).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,227 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 2.5 per cent to US$72.18 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.53 US cents.
Bitcoin has fallen 4.8 per cent to US$4,379, Ethereum has shed about 7.6 per cent to US$126 and EOS] has shed about 8 per cent to US$3.51.