The Australian share market shot up at the open and is continuing to rise into lunchtime trade now tracking 2.8 per cent higher at noon. The best performing stock in the is Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) rising almost 19 per cent. Shares in commercial property giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) continue to fall after reporting the impact of says Covid-19 on its retail portfolio. The best-performing sector is Materials, while the worst performing sector is REITS.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 140 points up at 5,142. On the futures market the SPI is 1.3 per cent higher.
Local economic news
Price rises in Sydney and Melbourne drove a 3.9 per cent rise in residential property prices in the December quarter 2019, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Residential property prices rose 4.7 per cent in Sydney and 5.2 per cent in Melbourne, with both cities recording a second consecutive quarter of strong growth. Prices rose in all capital cities except Darwin.
Citi rates BHP (ASX:BHP) as an Upgrade to a Buy from a Neutral. They say as gearing will rise for those companies with growth projects this will not be to levels that should cause concern. Target is reduced to $35.00 from $39.50. Shares in BHP (ASX:BHP) are currently 8.5 per cent higher at $27.33.
Medical Developments International (ASX:MVP) says that at this stage the potential negative impact of the COVID 19 virus on its business appears limited. They have been building stock to cater for an anticipated increase in sales throughout CY20. They also have sufficient stocks of raw materials and finished goods on hand to meet forecast demand and key suppliers remain ‘open for business’. A very small level of sales to China from the Company’s Veterinary business are negatively impacted. Shares in Medical Developments International (ASX:MVP) are currently 2.8 per cent higher at $5.09.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Materials adding 6.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is REITS shedding 2.2 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) rising 18.7 per cent to $10.91, followed by shares in Saracen Minerals Holdings (ASX:SAR).
And Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) dropping 8.9 per cent to $7.74, followed by shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and G8 Education (ASX:GEM).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,502 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.9 per cent down at US$90.88.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 61.23US cents.