Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) restarts plant: Aus shares 0.3% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market opened lower this morning following continued US-China tensions with US President Donald Trump resurfacing talk of tariffs on top of the current COVID tensions between the nations. By noon the market had bounced back and is now trading 0.3 per cent higher. Afterpay (ASX:APT) is leading the top 200 gains at midday, up over 23 per cent with Ooh! Media (ASX:OML) coming in last.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 16 points up at 5,262. On the futures market the SPI is 8 points up. 

Broker moves 

Macquarie has downgraded JB Hi Fi (ASX:JBH) to a Neutral from an Outperform. The broker says the decision came following the company's recent share price performance. The stock is up 29% since March 23 and has now reached Macquarie's valuation. The broker remains confident in the short-term outlook for revenue but is becoming more cautious about the medium-term outlook for discretionary expenditure as the economy slows. Target is reduced to $34.80 from $38.80. Shares in JB Hi Fi (ASX:JBH) are trading 2.8 per cent lower at $33.37 at noon. 

Company news 

Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) has restarted its Lynas Malaysia plant.This follows an announcement by the Malaysian Prime that almost all economic sectors, including manufacturing, will be allowed to operate from 4 May. The plant will be restarted at approximately 70% of Lynas next production rates and the company expects this rate production will enable them to refill supply chains and restock depleted inventories of critical materials. Shares in Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC) are trading 2.3 per cent lower at $1.68.

Best and worst performers 

The best-performing sector is Info Tech, adding 4.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy shedding 2.7 per cent. The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT), rising 23.8 per cent to $2.90, followed by shares in Qube Holdings (ASX:QUB) and Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR). The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ooh! Media (ASX:OML) dropping 8 per cent to 92 cents, followed by shares in AP Eagers (ASX:APE) and Web Jet (ASX:WEB)

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,697 an ounce. 
Iron ore price is flat at US$84.04. 
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.5 per cent. 
One Australian dollar is buying 63.90 US cents.