Market staggers as COVID-19 restrictions reintroduced: Aus shares flat at noon

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

After some promising early trade, the ASX200 changed course and has lost 0.04 per cent over the morning. This redirection comes as new COVID-19 cases in Victoria are tipped to reach 400 today; and New South Wales reintroduces some restrictions. NSW restaurants, cafes and bars will be required to limit group bookings to 10 people from next Friday. Weddings and corporate events will be limited to 150 people. Funerals and places of worship will be limited to 100 people.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 was trading 2 points lower, or 0.04 per cent lower, at 6,009. The SPI futures are pointing to a 4 point fall.

Broker moves

Morgan Stanley rates Audinate (ASX:AD8) as Overweight, with a 12 month price target of $7.50. The research and product development company’s 2020 financial year result was mostly in line with the brokers expectations, with revenue of US$20.4 million, falling below the brokers expectation of US$21 million. Metrics like original equipment manufacturers adoption and user certifications have strengthened. The broker expects top-line growth over the medium term of between 26 and 31 per cent. Shares in Audinate Group (ASX:AD8) are trading 0.9 per cent higher at $5.35 at noon.

Company news

Medical cannabis supplier, Cann Group (ASX:CAN) announced a $24.3 million capital raising this morning to support near-term growth. The company says that since announcing a strategic re-set in January it has secured multiple new offtake and supply agreements which “support short-term revenues and de-risk its expansion plans”. The Mildura expansion remains a critical component of Cann’s growth strategy. The Company is forecasting revenues of $15 million in the 2021 financial year. Shares in Cann Group are trading 16.5 per cent lower at $0.69 at noon.

Best and worst performers

At noon, the best-performing sector was Utilities, rising 0.3 per cent, while the worst-performing sector was Information Technology, shedding 0.8 per cent.

The best-performing stock on the S&P/ASX 200 was Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA), rising 4.1 per cent to $1.79. It was followed by shares in Abacus Property Group (ASX:ABP) and Alumina (ASX:AWC).

The worst-performing stock was Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT), falling 4.5 per cent to $10.28. It was followed by shares in McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) and Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD).

Commodites and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,797 an ounce.
The iron ore price has fallen 0.6 per cent to US$111.62.
Its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.9 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.81 US cents.