Ord Minnett downgrades Megaport: Aus shares close 1.9% higher over week

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

It has been a positive week of trade for the Australian share market. Today, the market opened in the black following strong leads from the US overnight, as Wall Street rallied on the execution of the US-China phase one trade deal. The local bourse gained momentum in the first 20 minutes of the day and tracked sideways for most of the session to close 0.3 per cent higher. As for the sectors, Info Tech was the best performer over the week capping over 3.8% in gains.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed or 22 points higher to finish at 7,064.

Over the week, the market hit a fresh record high, managing to push above the 7,000-point barrier for the first time on record. Over the week the market gained 135 points or 1.9 per cent, extending the rally we’ve been seeing since New Year.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 33 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 1 point.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 3 points.
Back home, the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 17 point rise Monday morning.

Broker moves

Macquarie has downgraded Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) from a neutral to an underperform, with a 12-month price target of $55.00. The broker acknowledges the company is a stand-out performer but cannot justify the current 25 times multiple. Shares in Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) are trading 0.3 per cent lower at $63.32.

Ord Minnett has downgraded Megaport (ASX:MP1) from an accumulate down to a hold, with a 12-month price target of $11.30. While Megaport missed some key performance indicators in the December quarter, top-line growth for the quarter was better than Ord Minnett expected. The broker remains optimistic about the company given its high-quality business model and exposure to strong sectoral growth. Shares in Megaport (ASX:MP1) are trading 1.6 per cent higher at $11.08.

Company news

Newly listed biotech company, Nyrada (ASX:NYR), has released a presentation to the stock exchange outlining the drugs in its development pipeline and providing a competition analysis for PCSK9 therapies. The company is developing a single-pill treatment for high cholesterol to assist the 43 million adults in the US who experience the condition. The company is also working on a treatment for stroke and traumatic brain injury. The company says proof-of-concept has been established for both the cholesterol-lowering and neuroprotection programs and patents have been lodged. First-in-human Phase I studies are subject to regulatory approval, but at this stage the cholesterol lowering program is expected to commence in late 2021. Shares in Nyrada (ASX:NYR) are trading 4.3 per cent lower at 23 cents.

The State of California Department of Business Oversight has granted US-based alternative payments leader, Sezzle (ASX:SZL) a lending license in the State of California.

Shares in Australian agri chemical company, Nufarm (ASX:NUF) have taken a dip today after the company released an update on the difficult market conditions experienced during its half year.

Tech and media investor, Bailador Technology Investments (ASX:BTI) has agreed to sell around $10 million of its current holding in hotel guest acquisition platform, SiteMinder.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Materials adding 1.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 0.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), rising 8.6 per cent to close at 38 cents. Shares in Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC) and Appen (ASX:APX) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nufarm (ASX:NUF), dropping around 10 per cent to close at $5.48. Shares in Blackmores (ASX:BKL) and Vocus Group (VOC) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mostly higher: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is steady and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.

Wall Street

Wrapped up our four trading days this week higher: The Dow Jones added 1.6 per cent, The S&P 500 added 1.6 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq gained 1.9 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,556 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.1 per cent to US$96.36.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.6 per cent.
Light crude is 9 cents up at US$58.62 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.97 US cents.