The Australian share market opened slightly weaker this morning following negative leads from Wall Street. It has taken a hit over the morning and is trading 0.5 per cent lower at noon. Most of the sectors are in the red, with Energy weighing heaviest on the market.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 32 points lower at 6,991. On the futures market the SPI is 34 points lower.
Credit Suisse has downgraded construction company Boral (ASX:BLD) from a neutral to an underperform, with a 12 month price target of $4.45. Boral’s US coal fired power station output has fallen 15 per cent in 2019 and the broker expects a further 9 per cent fall this year. The broker expects that Boral will abandon its 2021 objective of increasing volumes by 20 to 25 per cent given margin pressure from other energy alternatives. Meanwhile, Boral has downgraded its earnings by $24.4 million US dollars this morning following an investigation into financial irregularities in its North American windows business. Shares in Boral (ASX:BLD) are trading 10.1 per cent lower at $4.63 at noon.
Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) is lobbing a bid to acquire Spectrum Metals (ASX:SPX). The companies have entered into a bid implementation agreement. Under the offer, Spectrum shareholders will receive 1 Ramelius share for every 10 Spectrum shares held and cash consideration of 1.7 cent per Spectrum share held, valuing Spectrum shares at 15 cents each. Spectrum is the owner of the high-grade Penny West Gold Project. Spectrum directors unanimously recommend that shareholders accept the offer. The offer follows news on Friday that Venus Metals Corporation (ASX:VMC) has agreed to settle all claims against Spectrum Metals arising from Zebra Minerals’ acquisition of the Penny West Gold Project. Shares in Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) are trading 4.9 per cent lower at $1.26 at noon.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is REITs, adding 0.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 1.6 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is JB Hi Fi (ASX:JBH), rising 10.1 per cent to $44.13, followed by shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Avita Medical (ASX:AVH).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Boral (ASX:BLD),dropping 10.1 per cent to $4.63, followed by shares in Service Stream (ASX:SSM) and REA Group (ASX:REA).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading higher at US$1,572 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.5 per cent to US$83.59.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.80 US cents.