The Australian share market opened higher defying negative leads from the US markets on Friday and following a sea saw session in the first two hours of trade we are now tracking 0.2 per cent higher at noon. About half of the sectors are in the green with materials leading the way. Essential service provider, Service Stream (ASX:SSM) has seen a spike today following news that they have signed an agreement to deliver services to Optus on the 5G network.
UBS has downgraded Alumina (ASX:AWC) from a neutral to a sell, with a 12-month price target of $2.10. This follows UBS’s analysis that the metals and minerals environment will be subdued leading into 2020. Shares in Alumina (ASX:AWC) are trading 0.4 per cent higher at $2.39.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 10 points up or 0.2 per cent higher at 6,726. On the futures market the SPI is 10 points higher.
Local economic news
The Reserve Bank of Australia has released private sector credit figures for the month of August. Total private sector credit for the month of August was 0.2 per cent. This follows a 0.2 per cent increase in July. However, it fell short of the market consensus, with investors expecting to see a 0.3 per cent rise.
Essential service provider, Service Stream (ASX:SSM) has penned a wireless design and construction agreement with Optus. The newly awarded statement of work will see Service Stream provide site acquisition, design and construction services on the Optus network nationally, in respect of 5G. Managing Director, Leigh Mackender says “It is strategically significant…we now have arrangements in place to provide acquisition, design and construction services on all three wireless carrier networks in Australia…This new panel arrangement does not provide guaranteed volume, [however they] estimate revenue at $40 million over the initial two years [and] expect to commence works early in Q3 of FY20.” Shares in Service Stream (ASX:SSM) are trading 0.4 per cent higher at $2.61.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Materials, adding 0.8 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Information Technology, shedding 1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nufarm (ASX:NUF) rising 25.3 per cent to $5.59 following news this morning that it will sell its South American crop protection and seed treatment operations in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile. This is followed by shares in Galaxy resources (ASX:GXY) and Domain Holdings Australia (ASX:DHG).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is IDP Education (ASX:IEL),dropping 3.5 per cent to $15.36, followed by shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV).
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.01 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,493 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.1 per cent to US$90.85
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.64 US cents.