Ioneer (ASX:INR) chairman enters employment agreement: Aus shares 0.9% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market opened higher again this morning and is now trading 0.9 per cent up at noon. Tech stocks have had a stellar start to the day with Afterpay (ASX:APT) hitting past $65. Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC) is leading the top 200 gains at midday, up over 5 per cent, with NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) coming in last.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 53 points up higher at 5,987. On the futures market the SPI is 54 points up.

Broker moves

UBS has rated Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC) as a Buy. Lendlease anticipates FY20 operating profit of $50-150m, which to the broker implies an operating loss of $160-260m in the second half. Management remains confident the engineering sale will settle in FY21.This, along with the resolution of the Melbourne Metro project, is a positive catalyst although UBS suggests investors will need patience. Shares in Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC) are trading 4.4 per cent higher at $12.75.

Company news

Ioneer (ASX:INR) has entered into a 12 month employment agreement with their Chairman James Calaway. The company says during the past year, Mr Calaway’s contributions have exceeded the duties typical of a non-executive chairman. He has invested an increasingly significant amount of time in sales and marketing efforts. In his new position, Mr Calaway will continue his detailed involvement in the company and lead efforts to secure project partners and funding commitments. Shares in Ioneer (ASX:INR) are trading 4 per cent higher at $0.13.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is REITs, adding 2.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector, and the only sector that made losses this morning, is Materials, shedding 0.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC), rising 5.5 per cent to $3.07, followed by shares in Afterpay (ASX:APT) and Perpetual (ASX:PPT).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH), dropping 4.3 per cent to $1.79, followed by shares in Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) and Janus Henderson Group (ASX:JHG).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,769 an ounce.
The iron ore price fell 0.3 per cent to US$99.17.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.09 US cents.

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