Downer EDI secures $324m in contracts: Aus shares 0.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

The Australian share market started to lift steadily after opening in the red on the back of a Wall Street dip amid low consumer confidence in the US, dropping again on the ABS’s announcement that the Consumer Price Index has fallen to the lowest level in history amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P/ASX 200 index has dropped slightly, 6 points down, or 0.1%, at 6,015. On the futures market the SPI is pointing slightly higher tracking 1 point up.

Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK) is performing well today on the back of the company announcing results in line with expectations. The major banks lifted, while mining has been pulling back. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is expected to announce half-year results at the end of today after the market close. Meanwhile, gold prices are still performing well.

Local economic news

The Consumer Price Index fell 1.9 per cent in the June quarter, the ABS released today.
This is the largest quarterly fall in the 72-year history of the CPI, Chief Economist for the ABS, Bruce Hockman, said.
The June quarter fall was mainly the result of free childcare and a fall in preschool and primary education, with free pre-school being provided in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as a 19.3 per cent fall in fuel prices.

Broker moves

Macquarie rates Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) as Outperform.
Reported net profit in FY22 is ahead of guidance and in line with Macquarie's forecasts. Management expects between $60-75 million in net profit for FY21 and a dividend of 45-55 cents.
Guidance is supported by expectations for acquisitions and limited uncontracted US debt buying is included given current pricing.
Macquarie believes the business is well placed to capitalise on the current outlook to retain an Outperform rating. Target rises to $20.70 from $19.30. Target price is $20.70. Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) are trading 4.4 per cent lower at $17.56.

Company news

Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) has secured $324 million in several contracts across the power generation, oil and gas, and industrial sectors. This includes a two-year agreement with BHP for its iron ore business and a three-year contract with Santos across its existing operational sites. It also includes a four-year deal with Delta Electricity for its Vales Point power station. The company earlier this month raised $339 million through an institutional entitlement offer. Shares in Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) are trading 1.7 per cent lower at $4.15.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities gaining 1.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Materials shedding 1.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is AP Eagers (ASX:APE) rising 7.7 per cent to $7.59, followed by shares in McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is IGO (ASX:IGO) dropping 14.3 per cent to $4.74, followed by shares in Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) and NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is still tracking higher, trading at US$1,952 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.9 per cent lower at US$106.66.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a rise of 0.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.64US cents.