Retail sales have fallen 1.5% in September: ASX tracking 0.1% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market rose at the open and is now tracking 0.1 per cent higher at noon. Shares in Orora (ASX:ORA) are up as they report their first quarter US earnings are doing well. Shares in Megaport (ASX:MP1) have dropped despite reporting strong growth in the first quarter.

The S&P/ASX 200 index

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 6 points up at 6,190. On the futures market the SPI is suggesting a rise of 0.1 per cent, that’s 8 points.

Economic news

Retail sales have fallen 1.5 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis according to preliminary data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Broker moves

Citi rates Woolworths (ASX:WOW) as Upgrade to a Buy from a Neutral, raising estimates for earnings per share by 5 per cent for FY21 and 3.5 per cent for FY22. This reflects a rational grocery market and earnings momentum as well as appealing relative valuations. The broker assesses the sales gap over Coles (ASX:COL) is driven by the online channel and forecasts like-for-like sales growth of 11.6 per cent in the first quarter for Woolworths. Target is raised to $44.50 from $41.20. Shares in Woolworths (ASX:WOW) are tracking 1.1 per cent lower at $38.70.

Company news

Starpharma (ASX:SPL) today announced that it has received a $5.7 million R&D tax incentive refund which relates to the costs of research and development during the 2020 Financial Year. The refund is in respect of eligible R&D activities across Starpharma’s portfolio, including for Covid-19, DEP® and VivaGel® programs. The R&D tax incentive is an Australian Federal Government program which provides companies with a tax offset for eligible R&D activities. Shares in Starpharma (ASX:SPL) is trading 1 per cent lower at $1.48.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy rising 1.4 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Information Technology the sector shedding almost 1.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Orora (ASX:ORA) rising almost 6 per cent to $2.66, followed by shares in Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Megaport (ASX:MP1) dropping almost 9 per cent to $15.28, followed by shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) and Avita Therapeutics (ASX:AVH).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,916 an ounce.
Iron ore price is up 0.1 per cent at $119.61.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a rise of 1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.64US cents.
 

Are you a 708 sophisticated investor?

A sophisticated investor is defined under Section 708 of the Corporations Act (net assets of $2.5 million or annual incomes in excess of $250,000).

They are eligible to receive information regarding wholesale investment opportunities that are not available to regular or retail investors.

Please subscribe if you would like to be alerted to these types of opportunities.