Retail turnover fell 0.5 per cent in December 2019: ASX tracking 0.6% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market rose at the open and is now tracking 0.6 per cent higher at noon. Service Stream (ASX:SSM) shares saw a decline today after they reported their telecommunications revenue was marginally lower than prior corresponding period by $0.2 million. Meanwhile, shares in Elders (ASX:ELD) and Janus Henderson Group (ASX:JHG) are on the rise. The best-performing sector is energy, while the worst performing sectors were joint equally between Utilities and REITs.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 39 points up at 7,016. On the futures market the SPI is 39 points higher.

Broker moves

UBS has upgraded Boral (ASX:BLD) to Buy from Neutral after observing that they are trading at a steep discount to the market and suspects this reflects expectations that the 2019 underperformance will continue into 2020. Target is raised to $6.00 from $4.90. Shares in Boral (ASX:BLD) are currently 3.1 per cent higher at $5.17.

Local economic news

Retail turnover fell 0.5 per cent in December 2019, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures. This follows a rise of 1.0 per cent in November 2019.

Company news

Rare-earths producer Lynas (ASX:LYC) Malaysia says they are deeply disappointed by the behaviour of anti-Lynas activists who they say continue to make false statements. The State Government of Pahang issued its consent to a site at Bukit Ketam for a Permanent Deposit Facility (PDF) for the Water Leach Purification (WLP) residue Lynas say the site identified at Bukit Ketam is NOT in a water catchment area in response what was reported in the media. Shares in Lynas (ASX:LYC) are currently up 5.1 per cent at $2.28.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, adding 1.2 per cent, while the worst performing sectors are Real Estate Investment Trust and Utilities both down at 0.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Elders (ASX:ELD) rising 7.1 per cent to $8.38, followed by shares in Janus Henderson Group (ASX:JHG) and Pinnacle Investment Management Group (ASX:PNI).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Service Stream (ASX:SSM) dropping 10 per cent to $2.46, followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,557 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 2.9 per cent lower at US$81.31.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.58US cents.