Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) shares rise on final audit for AUSTRAC: ASX tracking 0.6% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market rose at the open and is now tracking 0.6 per cent higher at noon. The Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) shares shot up on the back of its final audit provided to AUSTRAC. Caltex Australia (ASX:CTX) shares are also on the rise today after they reported they intend to float stake in 250 retail sites. Nufarm (ASX:NUF) shares are down after it flagged a weak first quarter and looks likely their earnings will take a hit.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 39 points up at 6,748. On the futures market the SPI is 32 points higher.

Broker moves

Citi has upgraded Grocery distributor Metcash (ASX:MTS) to a Neutral from a Sell, with a 12-month price target of $2.80. Last week Metcash confirmed the loss of one of its largest customers, 7-Eleven. The broker expects Metcash will retain around 10 per cent of the contract in Western Australia and selected categories. Shares in Metcash (ASX:MTS) are currently flat at $2.83.

Company news

As part of its Annual General Meeting today, Healius (ASX:HLS) announced that underlying NPAT for FY 2020 is expected to be between $94 million and $102 million. At the top end of the range, this equates to a 9.4 per cent increase, in line with the seasonally-adjusted run-rate from the second half of 2019. This updates the guidance announced on 16 August 2019, for underlying NPAT to be higher than FY 2019. Additionally, Healius today announced further changes to its management team. Shares in Healius (ASX:HLS) are currently 3.2 per cent lower at $3.02.

Australian stem cell and regenerative medicine company, Cynata Therapeutics (ASX:CYP) has filed a Clinical Trial Authorisation application with the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the proposed Phase 2 clinical trial of Cynata’s Cymerus™ stem cell (MSC) product CYP-002 in patients with critical limb ischaemia (CLI). CLI is an advanced stage of peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is a narrowing of arteries in the limbs, particularly the legs. Shares in Cynata Therapeutics (ASX:CYP) are 1.7 per cent higher at $1.21.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, adding 1.4 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, gaining the least at 0.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is AfterPay Touch Group (ASX:APT) rising 10.1 per cent to $33.56, followed by shares in Caltex (ASX:CTX) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS)

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nufarm (ASX:NUF), dropping 18 per cent to $5.05, followed by shares in Polynovo (ASX:PNV) and Pro Medicus (ASX:PME).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,460 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.6 per cent to US$88.08.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.94 US cents.