ASX claws back on local earnings: Aus shares 0.4% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market is bouncing back and is 0.4 per cent higher at noon, defying Wall Street’s negative leads.

In a reverse of yesterday, most sectors are higher with Financials, Energy and, Consumer Discretionary leading the rally.

The S&P/ASX 200 index (ASX:XJO)  is 0.4 per cent higher or 25 points higher at 6,153 points at noon. Yesterday the ASX200 fell 0.9 per cent, closing at 6,128 points.  On the futures market the SPI is 24 points higher.

Economic news

Total construction work done fell 2.6 per cent (in seasonally adjusted terms) in the December quarter, compared to the same time last year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), while residential works done rose in the quarter by 2.1 per cent.

However, if you compared the September to the December 2018 quarter, the value of total work done fell 3.1 per cent, while residential works fell 3.6 per cent. The market and consensus was not expecting overall construction work done to fall that hard, with the market expecting a 3 per cent fall.

Company news

Wealth management software provider, Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS) announced its NPAT grew 15 per cent on the half year to 31 December 2018 (compared to the same time last year) to $16.3 million, while its revenue grew 24 per cent to $102.9 million, on the back of growth in Sonata (its digital front, middle and back office sofware solution), as well as by growth in funds administration management. Meantime, EBITDA rose 28 per cent to $23.8 million and its 1H19 EPS rose 15 per cent to 7.6 cents per share. Shares in Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS) are trading 1.6 per cent lower at $4.88 at noon.

Organic baby food formulae business, Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL) announced its statutory group profit fell 64 per cent to $8.1 million in the 1H19, compared to the 1H18, on the back of a $12 million one-off inventory provision for rebranding. Revenue sagged 25 per cent in the first half of the financial year, falling to $128 million on the back of SAMR registration delays and a reduction in inventory. Group EBITDA also copped a hit, falling 60 per cent over the same periods to $14 million. Nevertheless, Bellamy's group cash rose to $95 million, it has zero debt levels. And the business says it's still Australia’s number one organic baby formula brand. Shares in Bellamy's Australia (ASX:BAL) are trading 3.6 per cent lower at $7.78 at noon.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Financials adding 0.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Telcos, shedding 0.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Seek (ASX:SEK), rising 6.6 per cent to $18.49, followed by shares in Costa Group Holdings Limited (ASX:CGC) and Vocus Group Limited (ASX:VOC).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Reliance Worldwide Corporation Limited (ASX:RWC), dropping 5.9 per cent to $4.59, followed by shares in Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR) and Bellamy's Australia Limited (ASX:BAL).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,329 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 1.3 per cent to US$83.75
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.85 US cents.