Consumer sentiment jumps 4.3%: ASX tracking 0.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market had a steady rise mid morning but has now dropped at noon, tracking 0.1 per cent lower. A report out today shows consumer sentiment jumped 4.3 per cent in February despite gloomy news on the housing market. Gambling company Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) has seen their shares drop despite reporting its net profit after tax (NPAT) has increased to $183 million up from $25 million in the previous corresponding period - this was below analysts predictions. Carsales.com are down over 5 per cent. Northern Star Resources are up as is Beach Energy. The oil and gas company reported its net profit after tax (NPAT) Increased 196 per cent to 282.9 million for the first half of 2019 when compared to the prior corresponding period. This helped the energy sector to lead the sectors as the healthcare sector fell behind. The iron ore price is down 3.2 per cent. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 6 points lower at 6073. On the futures market the SPI is 10 points higher.

Economic News

The Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank index shows consumer sentiment jumped 4.3 per cent in February, from January when it slid 4.7 percent. The index, compiled from a survey of 1,200 people, was up 1 per cent from a year earlier at 103.8, meaning optimists now outnumbered pessimists.

Company news

It was challenging conditions for automotive parts company Bapcor (ASX:BAP) who saw their NPAT growth negatively impacted by 2.5 per cent due to the divestment of TRS tyres and wheel back in July in their first half 2019 results released today. The FY18 profit contribution of TRS is expected to be fully offset in H2 FY19 due to acquiring commercial truck group Don Kyatt in Queensland and associated companies in December 2018. Retail & Service profit is flat due to market conditions and continued company store expansion that is loss making in initial phase. Intercompany sales are up 37 per cent. Shares in Bapcor (ASX:BAP) is trading 9.4 per cent lower to $5.82

Wastewater company the Fluence Corporation (ASX:FLC) has publiushed independent test results gathered from its Stanford, California demonstration plant to validate compliance of Fluence’s MABR technology with California’s water recycling legislation. Their demonstration plant has been installed at the Codiga Resource Recovery Center in Stanford, California, and operational since January 2018. Title 22 of California’s Water Recycling Criteria is among the strictest water treatment standards for water recycling and reuse in the United States.
Fluence’s MABR technology is already being sold commercially in the USA via the Aspiral™ line of Smart Products Solutions. Shares in Fluence Corporation (ASX:FLC) is trading 3 per cent higher at $0.34.

IPO

Telecommunications company Uniti Wireless Limited (ASX:UWL). The provider of fixed wireless internet issued at 25 cents, opened at 33 cents and its currently trading at 24 cents.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy adding 0.9 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Healthcare, shedding 1.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Beach Energy (ASX:BPT), rising 5.9 per cent to $1.79, followed by shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Infigen Energy (ASX:IRN).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bapcor (ASX:BAP), dropping 9.4 per cent to $5.82, followed by shares in Pact Group Holdings (ASX:PGH) and Carsales.com (ASX:CAR).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,311 an ounce.
Iron ore price is $87.65 that's down 3.2 per cent. It's futures are pointing to a fall of 4.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.18 US cents.