The local sharemarket opened lower despite positive earnings results on Wall street and an encouraging tweet from Prime Minister Boris Johnson stating that a Brexit deal had been reached subject to parliamentary support. It is now tracking 0.6 per cent lower at noon. All of the sectors except Communications are in negative territory this morning.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is down 40 points at 6,645. On the futures market the SPI is 41 points lower.
Credit Suisse has upgraded Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG) from an underperform to a neutral, with a 12-month price target of $8.00. This comes as IAG is set to sell its 26 per cent interest in its joint venture with State Bank of India for over $640 million. This will improve its regulatory capital position. In light of this, the broker has increased its profit predictions for the 2020 financial year by 34 per cent. Shares in Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG) are trading 1.5 per cent higher at $8.07 at noon.
Infrastructure company, Cardno (ASX:CDD) has received orders from the Federal Court of Australia approving the scheme of arrangement to effect the demerger of Intega Group from Cardno. The Demerger was overwhelmingly approved by Cardno shareholders last week. Cardno are expected to lodge the orders with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission next Monday, at which point the demerger will become legally effective. Intega, which will specialise in construction quality, testing and measurement is then expected to start trading on the ASX under the ticker code “ITG”. Shares in Cardno (ASX:CDD) are trading 1.1 per cent higher at $0.96 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Communications, adding 0.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Staples, shedding 1.2 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS), rising 5.1 per cent to $3.95, followed by shares in IOOF Holdings (ASX:IFL) and Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is St Barbara (ASX:SBM),dropping 8.3 per cent to $2.55, followed by shares in Smartgroup Corporation (ASX:SIQ) and Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,493 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.9 per cent to US$87.06
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.31 US cents.