Export and import prices fall in September quarter: ASX is tracking 1.2% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market dropped at the open and is now tracking 1.2 per cent lower at noon. Seek (ASX:SEK) took a hit today as they took a pause in trading awaiting an announcement. All the sectors are in the red with information technology performing the worst.

The S&P/ASX 200 index

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 73 points down at 5,985. On the futures market the SPI is suggesting a fall of 74 points.

Economic News

The Australian Bureau of Statistics says import price index fell 3.5 per cent in the September quarter and 5.7 per cent through the year.
The export price index fell 5.1 per cent in the September quarter and 9.9 per cent through the year.
The number of businesses in the Australian economy increased by 1.3 per cent to 2.42 million in the May quarter.

Broker moves

Citi rates HUB24 (ASX:HUB) as a Buy. They have implemented a round of acquisitions and divestment which management sees as expanding the platform's capacity into the high-net-worth market, with the acquisition of Xplore Wealth the keystone, adding 400 new advisors. Target price is $17.55. Shares in HUB24 (ASX:HUB) are currently 7.5 per cent higher at $22.55.

Company news

The Westpac Group (ASX:WBC) has entered into an agreement to settle the US bank bill swap reference rate (BBSW) class action. This class action was filed in 2016 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, in relation to trading activity in the Australian bank bill swap reference rate (BBSW) market. The terms of the settlement are currently confidential. Westpac has also entered into a settlement agreement to settle the US Rosen Law Firm Class Action. This was filed in January 2020 in the US District Court for the District of Oregon in relation to market disclosure issues connected to Westpac’s financial crime obligations over the period 11 November 2015 to 19 November 2019. Settlement is subject to Court approval. Shares in the Westpac Group (ASX:WBC) are 1.7 per cent lower at $18.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Consumer Staples with the fewest losses, shedding 0.02 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Infotech shedding 2.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Adbri (ASX:ABC) rising 2.1 per cent to $2.96, followed by shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) and Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) dropping 8.5 per cent to $2.57, followed by shares in Seek (ASX:SEK) and Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,878 an ounce.
Iron Ore Price has gained 1.5 per cent at $116.87.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a rise of 0.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.65US cents.