All the sectors in the green: ASX tracking almost 2% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market shot up at the open and is now tracking almost 2 per cent higher at noon. Shares in oOh!media (ASX:OML) are on the up after HT&E has acquired at least 11 million shares in the company representing at least 1.8 per cent of the Company’s issued capital. Aurizon Holdings (ASX:AZJ) and shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) are on the decline. The Information Technology sector is on the rise and consumer staples are declining. All the sectors are in the green.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 99 points up at 5,305. On the futures market the SPI is 116 points higher.

Local economic news

RBA Financial Stability Review reports that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant strains in the global financial system. The pandemic brought to an end an extended period of stable (but only moderate) growth, low inflation, and low financial market volatility.

Broker moves

UBS has rated JB HI-FI (ASX:JBH) as an Upgrade to a Buy from a Neutral. UBS expects the current crisis to have a significant drag on the housing sector, characterised by falling house prices, a slowdown in completions and a drop in turnover. This is likely to be a headwind to household goods sales in FY21. Nevertheless, retailers such as JB Hi-Fi are envisaged having significant capacity to withstand the downturn. Target price is reduced to $39.70 from $43.00. Shares in JB HI-FI (ASX:JBH) are 6 per cent up at $33.53

Company news

Viva Energy (ASX:VEA) says their Retail segment has continued to perform well with the Alliance network achieving average sales volumes of 62.4 million litres per week in 1Q2020 (up 5.1 per cent on the same period last year). Retail fuel margins in the period were also favourable. Since late March 2020, the measures taken by State and Federal Governments to contain the spread of COVID-19 by encouraging people to stay at home have resulted in Alliance sales volumes declining by approximately 30 to 40 per cent. Commercial sales volumes for 1Q2020 were overall in-line with the same period last year, apart from some declines in Aviation sales volumes towards the end of March 2020. To date, the Resources, Transport, Marine and Specialties businesses have been relatively unaffected by COVID-19. Shares in Viva Energy (ASX:VEA) are 4.7 per cent higher at $1.34.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology gaining 4.2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Staples gaining the least at 0.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is oOh!Media (ASX:OML) rising 26.8 per cent to $0.81, followed by shares in Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) and Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Aurizon Holdings (ASX:AZJ) dropping 3.6 per cent to $4.31, followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and New Hope Corp (ASX:NHC).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,648 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 1.1 per cent higher at US$83.64.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a rise of 2.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 62.22US cents.