The Australian share market opened lower this morning and is now trading 2.02 per cent down at noon. In breaking news, Qantas (ASX:QAN) has cut approximately 6000 jobs as it comes to terms with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline will continue to stand down 15000 workers across Qantas and Jetstar as it becomes a smaller airline. Almost 100 of its aircraft will remain grounded for up to 12 months. Qantas is seeking to raise $1.9 billion from investors through a share sale. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he extends his deepest regrets to the airline’s staff.
The Prime Minister has this morning also announced a $250 million support package the arts and entertainment sector.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 121 points lower at 5,845. On the futures market the SPI is 121 points down.
UBS has rated Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) as a Sell. Sonic Healthcare withdrew their FY20 guidance although now expects operating earnings (EBITDA) will be in line with FY19. The broker has increased its second half revenue growth forecasts to allow for a more rapid return of routine work and improved margin assumptions across regions. While unable to quantify the earnings contribution from pandemic testing, the broker suspects this has been of benefit in countering lower routine work. Shares in Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL)) are trading 1.1 per cent lower at $30.01.
Brickworks (ASX:BKW) has confirmed a 50/50 joint venture with Goodman Group,saying it is in advanced discussions with a customer for a warehouse development at Oakdale West in Kemps Creek. The company released a statement following an article in today’s Australian Financial Review which reported Amazon was plotting a major expansion of its business plans and seeking to build one of the country's biggest warehouses in Western Sydney. The joint venture between Goodman and Brickworks was approved in April. Shares in Brickworks (ASX:BKW) are trading 0.3 per cent higher at $15.09.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Healthcare, adding 0.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy shedding 3.52 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Polynovo (ASX:PNV), rising 2.9 per cent to $2.53, followed by shares in The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) and CSL (ASX:CSL).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT), dropping almost 10.6 per cent to $11.51, followed by shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Perenti Global (ASX:PRN).
Japan's Nikkei is trading 1.2 per cent lower and the Chinese are closed due to a public holiday.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,761 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.6 per cent to US$103.34
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.55 US cents.