The Australian share market opened higher this morning before falling and is now trading 0.3 per cent lower at noon. In this mornings breaking news, Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) will close over 160 Target stores after reporting writedowns of approximately $780 million. Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) is leading the top 200 gains at midday, up over 6 per cent with NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) coming in last, dropping 6 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 18 points down at 5,532. On the futures market the SPI is 12 points down.
Citi has rated Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL) as a Buy. The broker says Aristocrat Leisure's first half result missed Citi's expectations and the second half is considered highly challenging. Citi says that while digital second half profit growth of 40% is being driven by the early stages of the monetisation of Raid, this is more than offset by negative inputs across the land-based business. Target is raised to $30.10 from $28.60. Shares in Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL) are trading 1.94 per cent lower at $2.02 at noon.
Worley (ASX:WOR) has been awarded a contract by Hardisty Energy Terminal, a joint venture between Gibson Energy and U.S. Development Group, for services at the Hardisty terminal in Canada. Under the contract, Worley will provide engineering and other construction services for a new diluent recovery unit (DRU) that has 8 million litres (50,000 barrels) per day inlet capacity, with the ability to scale to approximately 16 million litres (100,000 barrels) per day inlet capacity. The DRU will enable product from the Gibson Hardisty terminal to access new energy markets in the United States and Canada through rail transportation. Shares in Worley (ASX:WOR) are trading 0.2 per cent lower at $9.20.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, adding 0.9 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Health Care shedding 1.8 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD), rising 6.5 per cent to $11.80, followed by shares in Nearmap (ASX:NEA) and IDP Education (ASX:IEL).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) dropping 6 per cent to $2.06, followed by shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD).
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 3.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.8 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,728 an ounce.
Iron ore price is up 1.4 per cent to US$98.26
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.55 US cents.