The Australian share market rose at the open and managed to maintain momentum and is now tracking 0.7 per cent higher at noon. Shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) are leading the gains this morning and Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) is down the end. The best performing sector at midday is Healthcare and the worst performer is Communication Services.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 51 points up at 6,955. On the futures market the SPI is 56 points higher.
UBS is rating Costa Group (ASX:CGC) as a Buy. The broker has tracked both retail and wholesale pricing across four of the company's main domestic categories and notes that trends throughout December generally improved. USB says the main unknown is the supply of berries, as the industry has been affected by the bushfires and reduced water supply, although considers the 2019 guidance is realistic for net profit of around $28m. Buy rating and $3.25 target maintained. Shares in Costa Group (ASX:CGC) are trading 1.2 per cent lower at $2.53.
Neo-lender Wisr (ASX:WZR) has responded to the Australian Securities Exchange saying it was not in breach of continuous disclosure rules. Following yesterday’s announcement that the company inked $31.6 million of new loans in the second quarter of the 2020 financial year, the regulator requested an explanation on the 36 per cent increase in quarterly loan origination growth. Wisr CEO Anthony Nantes said with the announcement last quarter of a new funding facility that approximately triples the average margin to Wisr on each loan written, the Company is at an exciting juncture with an aim to further accelerate growth. Shares in Wisr (ASX:WZR) last traded at 24 cents.
Electro Optic Systems (ASX:EOS) has restructured it’s board of directors and appointed John Berry, the former US ambassador to Australia, to the board of its US subsidiary EOS Defense Systems. The board also includes EOS CEO Dr Ben Greene and EOSDS CEO General Phil Coker. A key role of EOSDS to now has been the establishment of US production capacity for EOS remote weapon systems and counter-UAS products. From 2020 EOS will expand the role of EOSDS to include activities in space, missile defence, and space communications. Shares in Electro Optic Systems Holdings (ASX:EOS) are trading 4.9 per cent higher at $8.81.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Healthcare, adding 1.4 per cent, while the sector with the fewest gains is Communication Services shedding 0.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Orocobre (ASX:ORE) rising 9.6 per cent to $3.87, followed by shares in Elders (ASX:ELD) and Avita (ASX:AVH).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Cooper Energy (ASX:COE), dropping 2.5 per cent to 58 cents, followed by shares in Tech One (ASX:TNE) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,542 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 2.1 per cent higher at US$95.93
Iron ore futures are pointing to a lift of 0.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.04US cents.