Navitas hits two-year high: Aus shares 0.2% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market opened higher defying Wall Street’s negative leads after US equities fell on the back of weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data.

In the first two hours of trade most sectors of the market has been gaining momentum.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 0.2 per cent or 13 points higher at 5,786 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 11 points higher.

Navitas (ASX:NVT) has gained about 12 per cent, hitting a two year high, after getting a sweetened takeover proposal. For more news of Navitas, check out our story in Company News.

Costa Group (ASX:CGC) shares have continued to bounce back, rising 3.5 per cent, extending yesterday’s gain, after its share sell off of 40 per cent, after it issued a profit warning on 10 January 2019.

Broker upgrades/downgrades

Centuria Industrial REIT (ASX:CIP) has been marked as a hold (retain) with a price target of $2.70, by Shaw and Partners, with the stockbroker noting it’s in the midst of a ‘earnings tidy-up post the recent equity raising and its acquisitions’. Centuria Industrial REIT shares are trading 0.2 per cent higher.

Company news

IOOF (ASX:IFL) is a step closer to possibly buying ANZ’s (ASX:ANZ) One Path Pensions and Investments (P&I) business after the big four is legally separating the entity. The amended contract also allows the entities’ trustee to separately consider giving consent for the purchase by IOOF. Shares in IOOF (ASX:IFL) are trading 1.3 per cent higher at $5.48 at noon.

Mining services company, Ausdrill’s (ASX:ASL) chief financial officer, Theresa Mlikota has resigned and taken up a role as CFO at material and lime company, Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC). As for Ausdrill, Peter Bryant, will be acting as CFO until a formal replacement has been made. Meantime, Norway bank, Norges Bank reduced its holding in Ausdrill from about 5.3 to 4.8 per cent. Shares in Ausdrill (ASX:ASL) are trading 8.7 per cent lower at $1.13 at noon.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Energy, adding 0.9 per cent, followed by Property, while the worst performing sector is Telcos, shedding 0.5 per cent, followed by Staples.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Navitas Limited (ASX:NVT), rising 12.2 per cent to $5.50, followed by shares in Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR) (after it declared commercial production at its Mozambique graphite mine), and Ooh!Media Limited (ASX:OML).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ausdrill Limited (ASX:ASL), dropping 8.7 per cent to $1.13, followed by shares in Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC) and Perpetual Limited (ASX:PPT) after the fund manager announced a fall in its funds under management in the December quarter.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,291 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.09 US cents.