Banks and miners strengthen the market: ASX tracking 1.1% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market rose at the open and is now tracking 1.1 per cent higher at noon. Buy Now Pay Later shares are doing well today, shares in Zip (ASX:Z1P) rose over 9 per cent. Meanwhile, Ingenia (ASX:INA) shares dropped.

The S&P/ASX 200 index

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 64 points up at 6,100. On the futures market the SPI is suggesting a rise of 73 points.

Local economic news

The seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved fell 1.6 per cent in August. Private sector dwellings excluding houses fell 11 per cent, while private sector houses rose 4.8 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms.
Meanwhile, between the week ending 14 March 2020 (the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed Covid-19 case) and the week ending 19 September 2020, payroll jobs decreased by 4.1 per cent and total wages decreased by 2.9 per cent. Victorian payroll jobs are up 0.4 per cent across the fortnight.

Broker moves

Macquarie rates Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) as an Upgrade to an Outperform from a Neutral. They observe stronger consumer expenditure and an improved outlook are providing tailwinds across the company's divisions. The federal budget should also drive sales for Bunnings through renovations and Officeworks through working from home. Meanwhile supply chain issues in Kmart are improving and Catch provides operating leverage and growth.Target price is $51.00. Shares in Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) are 1.2 per cent higher at $46.61.

Company news

Phoslock Environmental Technologies (ASX:PET) announced today that KPMG has reported its preliminary findings into suspected accounting irregularities relating to their China operations. Fraudulent activity has been identified, including false accounting and falsification of invoices and service contracts where Phoslock or its subsidiaries are the recipient, and potential improper tax reporting and misappropriation of funds. Several China-based employees have been either stood down or terminated in relation to these matters. It has also been confirmed that several previously undisclosed related party transactions have taken place Further investigations are required to determine the full extent of these, and possibly further, irregularities and to quantify the impact on the company’s finances and accounts. This work is underway. Shares in Phoslock Environmental Technologies (ASX:PET) last traded at $0.24.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Infotech adding 2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is REIT the only one with losses shedding 0.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is ZIP Co (ASX:Z1P) rising 8.8 per cent to $7.93, followed by shares in Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) and Avita Therapeutics (ASX:AVH).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ingenia Communities Group (ASX:INA) dropping 2.1 per cent to $4.57, followed by shares in Reliance Worldwide Corp (ASX:RWC) and Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group (ASX:SCP).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,887 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.35US cents.