Retail turnover dropped 18% in April: ASX tracking 0.2% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market is now tracking almost 0.2 per cent lower at noon. EML payments (ASX:EML) rose today after reporting that they remain on course to deliver a solid full year result despite the pandemic. Revenue for the nine months ending March 31 was up 20 per cent on the prior corresponding period to $87.1 million.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 12 points up at 5,547. On the futures market the SPI is 26 points lower.

Local economic news

Australian retail turnover fell 17.9 per cent in April 2020, seasonally adjusted, according to preliminary retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Broker moves

Credit Suisse rates Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP) as an Upgrade to an Outperform from a Neutral. They revised estimates in light of the current conditions. The broker assumes around 25 per cent of tenants have sought rental relief. Within the storage portfolio, there appears to be no material impact of mandatory closures or social distancing but income assumptions are conservatively lowered. Credit Suisse does not believe Abacus Property needs to raise equity for defensive purposes as gearing is well below the covenants. Target price is $2.86. Shares in Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP) are currently 2.1 per cent higher at $2.48.

Company news

As previously announced, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia recently confirmed Bega Cheese’s (ASX:BGA) right to use the trade dress currently associated with its peanut butter products. On 19 May 2020 Bega Cheese received notice that Kraft-Heinz has filed an application in the High Court seeking special leave to appeal from the judgment of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia. Shares in Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) are currently 0.75 per cent lower at $5.32.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Infotech gaining 1.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Utilities losing 1.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is EML payments (ASX:EML) rising 12.8 per cent to $3.71, followed by shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Nearmap (ASX:NEA).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ausnet (ASX:AST) dropping 5.2 per cent to $1.81, followed by shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and Lendlease (ASX:LLC).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,749 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 1.6 per cent higher at US$98.36
Iron ore futures are suggesting a rise of 2.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.54US cents.