ASX hits two week high: Aus shares 0.7% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market hit a two-week high today, after US equities made their biggest rally in eight months on the Fed Chair (Jerome Powell) signalling rates are ‘neutral for the economy, that’s neither speeding up nor slowing down growth’, a big change from his stance two months ago. Tech stocks rose the most on Wall Street with the Nasdaq up 3 per cent and our smaller tech sector is leading the ASX rally today.

As for the major sectors miners are leading, followed by Healthcare, with both sectors up over 1 per cent, leading most higher. And just two sectors sag in the red, with Ooh!Media (ASX:OML) seeing some profit taking falling 1.6 per cent after rising over 6.7 per cent yesterday.

At noon the S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.7 per cent or 38 points higher at 5,763. On the futures market the SPI is 50 points higher.

Broker moves

Bell Potter upgraded its 12-month price target (PT) for Afterpay (ASX:APT) from $21.59 to $23.63 citing that customer growth in the US has overtaken Australian and NZ growth. The buy now pay later is set to add 140,000 new customers in November, double what it added it October. Shares in the sector have fallen in line with many brokers expectations and ASIC's new intervention has been flagged as being positive. It shares are 6.6 per cent higher at $13.60.

Local economic news

Private new capital expenditure fell 0.5 per cent in September, disappointing the market, as the consensus was that we would see a rise of 1 per cent in expenditure for the quarter.

Company news

Automotive aftermarket part business Bapcor (ASX:BAP) inked a deal to buy a Japanese truck spare parts group (a group of five companies) for $15 million. The deal will be funded by issuing new shares and is expected to be completed in early December 2018. The earnings from the newly purchased group are expected exceed the full year earnings of the TRS Tyre and Wheel business, which Bapcor sold earlier this year (1 July 2018). Shares in Bapcor (ASX:BAP) are trading 1.3 per cent higher at $6.12 at noon. Year-on-year its shares are trading 4.2 per cent higher.

The globes fifth largest metallurgical coal producer, Coronado Global Resources (ASX:CRN), says it expects to grow production from 21.1 mega tonnes in FY2018 to 21.7 MT in FY2019, while Goldman Sachs (GS) expects the company to ship 17 MTs of met coal in 2019. It had coverage initiated by Goldman Sachs (GS) with the company presenting at its Mining and Metals conference, with the GS marking the stock as a buy, with a price target of $3.60. CRN claims to be the largest non-diversified met coal producer in the world, with four mines in Australia and the US. Coronado Global Resources (ASX:CRN) which recently floated, is trading 2.3 per cent higher today at $3.13, and over the last month it’s sank 9.5 per cent.

IPOs

Gold and base metals explorer in Western Australia, Norwest Minerals (ASX:NWM) was welcomed to the ASX today. It issue shares at $0.20, opened at $0.20 and its trading at $0.20. For an interview with the CEO check out our website.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials adding 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Utilities, shedding 0.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Altium Limited (ASX:ALU), rising 8.1 per cent to $22.89, followed by shares in Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) and Afterpay Touch Group Limited (ASX:APT).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mayne Pharma Group (ASX:MYX), dropping 10.6 per cent to $0.93, followed by shares in Bingo Industries (ASX:BIN) and Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX:ALL).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,222 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.8 per cent to US$66.35 and its futures are pointing to a rise of 1.6 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.00 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is up by 10.9 per cent to US$4,257 Ethereum has gained about 9.9 per cent to US$122 and EOS has gained about 7 per cent to US$3.27