BlueScope shares drop on US expansion news: ASX tracking 0.8% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market shot up at the open following on from positive leads from Wall Street and is now tracking 0.8 per cent higher at noon. Construction firm Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC) saw their shares to rise almost 10 per cent despite reporting a 41 per cent drop in annual profit after tax. Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) have also seen a rise in their shares - they also reported today showing their underlying NPAT was up 86 per cent to a company-record $560 million. The Information Technology sector is leading the way and the Materials sector trailing behind the only sector in the red today.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 54 points up at 6,459. On the futures market the SPI is 0.8 per cent higher.

Broker moves

Citi maintains a Sell for Cochlear (ASX:COH) with a twelve month target price $198.00. They continue to expect that Cochlear will regain the market share lost in FY19 as it rolls out its own MRI compatible implant to all markets throughout FY20.

Company news

The nib Group (ASX:NHF) saw solid growth across all business segments in the financial year 2019 report with net profit after tax up 11.8 per cent to $149.3 million on the prior corresponding period. Group underlying revenue is up 8.3 per cent to $2.4 billion. Group underlying operating profit $201.8 million up 9.2 per cent. Final dividend is at 13.0 cents per share, fully franked – up 18.2 per cent on last year. Shares in nib Group (ASX:NHF) are trading 4.7 per cent lower at $7.27.

Global logistics solutions group, WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC), has acquired a US based container yard and terminal management logistics solutions company called Depot Systems. Depot Systems offers container yard management, and container maintenance and repair estimating. Headquartered in Ohio, Depot Systems has over 200 predominantly US-based depots and terminals as customers. Shares in WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) are trading 0.7 per cent higher at $26.89.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, adding 1.9 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Materials, shedding 0.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is SmartGroup Corp (ASX:SIQ), rising 20.1 per cent to $10.86, followed by shares in Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC) and Eclipx Group (ASX:ECX).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL), dropping 8.6 per cent to $11.15, followed by shares in Ooh!Media (ASX:OML) and NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 1.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,510 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.3 per cent to US$89.57
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.77 US cents.

Rachael Jones

Finance News Network
Rachael comes to FNN after working for Fairfax Media covering international breaking news, including the global economy and politics. She joined FNN in February 2018. She has reported on Australia’s finance news for various organisations since 2000 and has also interviewed a number of key business players, including Bill Gates. Rachael has also worked across a number of countries, including the UK and the US.