Citi upgrades Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) to a Buy: ASX tracking 0.6% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market has risen at the open following positive leads from Wall Street. It is now tracking tracking 0.6 per cent higher at noon. Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares are on the rise after Citi upgraded them from a neutral to a buy. Elders (ASX:ELD) shares are on the up after reporting strong financial results. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and the ANZ (ASX:ANZ) are all on the decline today. The best-performing sector is Healthcare, while the worst performing sector is Materials.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 37 points up at 6,761. On the futures market the SPI is 48 points higher

Broker moves

Citi has upgraded Afterpay Touch (ASX:APT) to a Buy from Neutral, with a 12-month price target of $31.10. Their conclusion is that the Buy Now Pay later provider had a solid October in the USA. Shares in Afterpay Touch (ASX:APT) closed 5 per cent higher at $28.33.

Company news

Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) ha appointed Pete Findlay as Chief Financial Officer - he’ll start with the group today. He has over 20 years’ experience in professional services and senior finance and operational roles in private and publicly owned businesses. He takes over from Colin Griffin who has been the Group’s CFO for the past 26 years. Colin will continue to be part of the executive leadership team in his new role as Executive General Manager of our Contract Manufacturing Business. Shares in Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) is currently trading 2.5 per cent higher at $4.04.

Australian agribusiness Elders (ASX:ELD) today released its results for the 12 months to September 2019, highlighting their resilience in the face of difficult trading conditions. They report statutory profit after tax of $68.9 million compared to $71.6m in the previous year. Underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was $73.7 million, marginally lower than the prior year’s result of $74.5 million. Elders also announced a fully franked final dividend of 9 cents per share. Shares Elders (ASX:ELD) is trading 5.8 per cent higher at $6.41.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Healthcare, adding 1.9 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Materials, shedding 0.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Elders (ASX:ELD) rising 5.8 per cent to $6.41, followed by shares in AfterPay Touch Group (ASX:APT) and Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), dropping 4.1 per cent to $9.19, followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Australia ad New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,463 an ounce.
Iron ore price lost 3.7 per cent to US$80.11
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.54 US cents.