AiG Construction Index improved marginally in January: ASX tracking 0.4% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market rose at the open and is now tracking 0.4 per cent higher at noon. Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) shares are up today as are Orocobre (ASX:ORE) meanwhile Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) shares have fallen. The best-performing sector is Information Technology, adding 1.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Utilities.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 28 points up at 6,977. On the futures market the SPI is 23 points higher.

Broker moves

Morgans has upgraded Bapcor (ASX:BAP) to an Add from a Hold. Morgans expects around 10 per cent sales growth in FY20. The broker suspects earnings growth will be skewed to the second half. While cautious about the results, Morgans suspects the outlook is improving. Target is $6.90. Shares in Bapcor (ASX:BAP) are currently 5.3 per cent higher at $6.81

Local economic news

The AiG Construction Index improved marginally in January to 41.3, seasonally adjusted, up from 38.9 in December. The index has been below 50 since September 2018.

Company news

IAG (ASX:IAG) Managing Director and CEO Peter Harmer has appointed Julie Batch as Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer to lead a newly created Strategy & Innovation division which combines IAG’s existing strategy function with its Customer Labs division. She was previously IAG’s Chief Customer Officer. In addition, IAG Group Executive Technology Neil Morgan will lead an expanded Technology & Digital division which brings together the digital teams from Australia and New Zealand, including those previously part of Customer Labs, and the existing Group Technology team. Shares in IAG (ASX:IAG) are currently 0.5 per cent lower at $7.02.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, adding 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Utilities at 0.5 per cent lower.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) rising 12.1 per cent to $0.35, followed by shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR), dropping 4 per cent to $1.56, followed by shares in Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,556 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 4.2 per cent higher at US$83.76.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.9 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.30US cents.