The Australian share market dropped at the open before slightly recovering at midday. The big four banks were in the red this morning although stocks in gold were performing well. It is now tracking 1.3 per cent higher at noon. Bega was the worst performer in today’s morning trade following on a update on it’s operations surrounded by the current bushfires. Currently Energy and Communication services are the only sectors in the black.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 32 points down at 6,702. On the futures market the SPI is 27 points lower.
Local economic news
Today the AIG (Australian Industry Group) will release performance of manufacturing for December.
AMA Group (ASX:AMA) has announced the appointment of Carl Bizon as an Independent Non-Executive Director commencing on 3 February 2020. Carl has held senior executive roles with world leading manufacturing and distribution businesses in various sectors of the automotive industry, most recently serving as President and CEO of Horizon Global and CEO of Jayco Corporation. With a career spanning more than 25 years, AMA Group Chairman Anthony Day said Carl’s global and domestic experience and leadership skills will provide considerable value to the Board. Shares in AMA Group (ASX:AMA) are trading 1.8 per cent lower at 96 cents.
Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) says it’s continuing to monitor the current bushfires in and around the Bega Valley. Bega Cheese operates two sites at Bega in NSW including a milk receival and bulk cheese production facility and a cheese cutting and processing facility. In an update this morning, the company said that fortunately the fires have not directly impacted the sites which remain fully operational however have impacted a number of our employees and dairy farm suppliers in the region. The company is working closely with its employees, dairy farm suppliers and freight providers to ensure milk can be delivered and processed whilst taking every precaution to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Shares in Bega (ASX:BGA) are trading 7.6 per cent lower at $3.99.
Morgans has rated Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) as a Downgrade to a Hold from an Add. The broker says Jumbo Interactive has taken the market by surprise with a decision to ramp up investment for the future. Updated earnings guidance subsequently fell short of consensus expectations although Morgans sees merit in the decision. Given the company is cycling tough comparables, ahead of now increased expenditure, Morgans moves to Hold following large earnings forecast downgrades.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Energy, adding 1.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Financials, shedding 1.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) rising 5 per cent to $3.85, followed by shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA), dropping 7.6 per cent to $3.99, followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PKS) and Hub24 (ASX:HUB).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,575 an ounce.
Iron Ore is 0.6 per cent higher at $94.60
Iron ore futures are pointing to a lift of 0.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.52 US cents.