Slight recovery in jobs before Vic lockdown: ASX 0.5% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market dropped at the open and is now tracking almost 0.5 per cent lower at noon. Shares in the Breville Group (ASX:BRG) rose over 7 per cent today meanwhile shares in Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) dipped.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 28 points lower at 5,949. On the futures market the SPI is 21 points lower.

Local economic news

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today show total payroll jobs at the end of June were still 5.7 per cent below mid-March when Australia recorded its 100th COVID-19 case.

Broker moves

Morgan Stanley rates Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) as an Equal-weight. Morgan Stanley looks at potential mergers and acquisitions options for Beach Energy but admits the options entail more risk than the Lattice deal. One of them is Bass Strait but the broker points out the risk in terms of its location that will increase costs along with a harsh environment, making things challenging to operate. Target price of $1.35. Industry view: Cautious. Shares in Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) are 0.7 per lower at $1.46.

Company news

Westpac Group (ASX:WBC) CEO, Peter King, today announced that Michael Rowland has been appointed the Group’s Chief Financial Officer. He joins Westpac from KPMG, where he is a Partner in Management Consulting, specialising in financial services. He has held senior positions at KPMG, ANZ and ING Australia. Gary Thursby who has been acting CFO since December 2019 will continue acting in this role until Mr Rowland joins Westpac later in the year. Shares in Westpac Group (ASX:WBC) are currently 1.1 per cent lower at $17.78.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is REIT gaining 0.2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Infotech losing at 3.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Breville Group (ASX:BRG) rising 7.6 per cent to $24.72, followed by shares in SmartGroup Corp (ASX:SIQ) and Credit Corp Grou (ASX:CCP).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:NUF) dropping 7.9 per cent to $66.08, followed by shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) and Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,799 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 4.5 per cent higher at US$111.09.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a rise of 1.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.44US cents.