The Australian share market started the week in the black, but it wasn’t long before sinking into negative territory with traders and investors absorbing the news out of China, that the nation’s imports fell 7.6 per net in March. As a result, our Healthcare sector is down the most today.
Nevertheless on Wall Street on Friday, all of the three major US indices rose, with China also reporting stronger than expected exports, double what economists expected.
No economic news today, however, all eyes will be on the RBA minutes released tomorrow from the first meeting of the month.
Citi Research has retained its neutral (hold) stance for investment management firm, Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) saying its core fund flows in the second quarter were soft and disappointed. Citi appraised Pendal’s multi-boutique operating model, which ‘should be well placed throughout different market cycles’. Citi increased its 12-month target price for Pendal Group shares, up from $8.20 to $9.50. It is trading 8 per cent lower $8.55 at noon.
OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) has been rated a high-risk buy by Shaw and Partners, with a price target of $13.00 on the back of the company reporting a strong start to 2019. OZL reported results on Friday with its underground copper-gold South Australian mine, Carrapateena reaching first ores and on track for commissioning this year, while the miner’s copper and gold production are on track for annual guidance. It shares are trading at $10.49 and is 0.3 per cent lower at noon.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 9 points or 0.2 per cent lower 6,242 points. On the futures market the SPI is 13 points lower.
Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) has completed its $260 million off-market buy-back at price of $23.43, buying back 11.1 million shares. Shaw and Partners has a low-risk buy rating on the stock, with a price target of $31.00. This year its shares have risen 7.9 per cent. At noon, shares in Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) are trading 0.8 per cent lower at $27.45.
One of Australia’s largest listed gold producers, Evolution Mining Limited (ASX:EVN) shares are seeing some selling today, ahead of the company’s quarterly results being announced on Wednesday 17 April. The company operates five gold mines in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia and has an interest in a copper-gold mine in Queensland. This year its shares have lost 6 per cent. At noon, shares in Evolution Mining Limited (ASX:EVN) are trading 3.9 per cent lower at $3.44.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is S&P/ASX 200 Financials adding 0.4 per cent, S&P/ASX 200 Energy and S&P/ASX 200 Consumer Staples and S&P/ASX 200 Communication Services. While the worst performing sector is S&P/ASX 200 Health Care, shedding 1 per cent, leading the remainder of the sectors lower.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bravura Solutions Limited (ASX:BVS), rising 3.9 per cent to $5.60, followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) and HUB24 Limited (ASX:HUB).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pendal Group Limited (ASX:PDL), dropping 8 per cent to $8.55, followed by shares in Perpetual Limited (ASX:PPT) after Citi Research issued an announcement saying the company required strategic clarify, while it upgraded its 12-month price target from $38.00 to $41.00 and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR).
Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.6 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,288 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.9 per cent to US$96.47
Iron ore futures are steady.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.72 US cents.