The Australian share market opened lower defying positive leads from US markets, but has edged higher over the first 2 hours of trade. It is now tracking nearly 1 per cent higher at noon, with all sectors in the green. Megaport (ASX:MP1) is conducting a $62 million raising. Citi has upgraded oOh! Media. Retail Trade figures for October are largely unchanged. Australia’s International Trade in Goods and Services for October capped a $6,341 million surplus.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 63 points higher at 6,669. On the futures market the SPI is 54 points higher.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest Retail Trade figures for October. Overall Australian retail turnover was relatively unchanged (0.0 per cent) in seasonally adjusted terms despite the market consensus indicating that it was set to lift. This follows a rise of 0.2 per cent in September 2019. The Northern Territory saw the strongest retail gains, rising 2.3 per cent followed by Tasmania which managed to boost 1.4 per cent. South Australia however saw the biggest decline with retail trade down 0.5 per cent. Nationally, there were falls for clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.8 per cent), department stores (-0.8 per cent) and household goods (-0.2 per cent). This was offset as hungry Aussies chose to eat out more. Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services were up 0.4 per cent and food retailing rose 0.1 per cent.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics also published figures on the International Trade in Goods and Services for October 2019. In trend terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $6,341 million in October, a decrease of $229 million on the surplus in September 2019.
Credit Suisse has upgraded its 12-month price target for oOh! Media (ASX:OML) from $3.70 to $4.50, rating it as an Outperform. This follows oOh! Media’s decision earlier in the week to upgrade EBITDA for its year ending 31 December 2019. Credit Suisse believes a more aggressive sales strategy in the fourth quarter has paid dividends for the company. It notes that pressure around the balance sheet has eased but not disappeared. Shares in oOh! Media (ASX:OML) are trading 2 per cent higher at $3.81 at noon.
Megaport (ASX:MP1), is set to raise $62 million via a fully underwritten placement to institutional, sophisticated and professional investors. Megaport provides elastic interconnection services which allow customers to connect their network to other services, and then control those services via their mobile device, computer, or Megaport’s open API. The company intends to issue 7.1 million fully paid ordinary shares under the placement at an issue price of $8.70 per share. The funds will be used to accelerate expansion to new locations and new markets, undertake capacity upgrades, fund innovation, develop new technology, fund operating costs and general working capital requirements. Shares in Megaport (ASX:MP1) last traded at $9.14.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Information Technology, adding 1.8 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Staples, adding 0.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) rising 8 per cent to $1.24, followed by shares in Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) and Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), dropping 9 per cent to $2.73, followed by shares in Collins Foods (ASX:CKF) and Metcash (ASX:MTS).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,476 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.8 per cent to US$89.06
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.39 US cents.