Building work falls 2.1%: Aus shares 0.7% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market rose at the open before coming down to finish 0.7 per cent down at noon. EML Payments (ASX:EML) is leading the top 200 gains at midday, up almost 8 per cent with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) coming in last. The Energy sector is leading the losses.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 36 points down at 5,452. On the futures market the SPI is 51 points lower. 

Local economic news

The ABS has released figures for building and construction activity for December 2019.

It's reported that the estimated value of total building work done fell 2.1% in the December quarter, with the value of new residential building work done falling 4.3% in the same quarter.

Broker moves 

Morgans has rated Afterpay (ASX:APT) as an add. The broker considers the third quarter sales performance reasonably solid, noting underlying sales were up 97%. While the downturn is only in the early stages there appears to be no material changes to the gross loan ratio. Morgans assesses the company has the capital to handle most negative scenarios for the near term. Add rating maintained. Target is reduced to $33.11 from $39.92. Target price is $33.11 Current Price is $28.40 Difference: $4.71 
Shares in Afterpay (ASX:APT) are trading 4.1 per lower at $27.25.

Company news 

Wisr (ASX:WZR) has recorded over $200 million in loan originations with the most recent $50 million written in under 4 months. The milestone was reached with all Wisr employees working from home, in effect since 16 March 2020, with no disruption to normal business operations and tightened credit policy. The $38.9 million in new loans originated in Q3FY20, a 23% quarter-on-quarter increase for Q3FY20 (compared to Q2FY20). Wisr says the company continues to rapidly attract thousands of Australians during the COVID-19 crisis, with growth above management expectations. Shares in Wisr (ASX:WZR) are trading 7.4 per cent higher at 14 cents.

Best and worst performers 

The best-performing sector is Consumer Staples, adding 0.4 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy shedding 3.3 per cent. 

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is EML Payments (ASX:EML), rising 7.6 per cent to $2.84, followed by shares in Southern Cross Media (ASX:SXL) and Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS)

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) dropping 8.8 per cent to $5.05, followed by shares in Corporate Travel Management(ASX:CTD) and Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN)

Commodities and the dollar 

Gold is trading at US$1,724 an ounce. 
Iron ore price is up 1.7 per cent to US$87.02 
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.9 per cent. 
One Australian dollar is buying 64.16 US cents.