Local shares seesaw to 0.2% gain: Building approvals skyrocket in September

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The local share market has kicked off the week on a positive note despite weak leads from the US and increasing nervousness around the US election. The S&P/ASX200 is up 14 points or 0.2 per cent to 5942. Futures are pointing to a gain of 39 points. AMP is riding high after it said a proposed takeover offer from Ares Management has an implied value of $1.85 a share, that’s a 20 per cent premium to Friday's closing price. CSR has risen over 3 per cent despite cutting its interim dividend and reporting a 15 per cent slide in first half net profit. Seek is losing ground down almost 6 per cent despite calling short seller Blue Orca’s report inaccurate. Meantime, Westpac fell 1.3pc after its full-year profit missed the consensus estimate by about 2 per cent.  

Local economic news

Building approvals have jumped in September, following easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Western Australia and South Australia are leading the way.
Building approvals rose 15.4 per cent beating expectations of a 1.3 per cent rise. In August, they had declined 1.6 per cent.
Meantime, Australia's job ads surged 9.4 percent month-over-month in October 2020, after an upwardly revised 8.3 percent rise a month earlier. It's the sixth straight month of gains.

Broker call

Credit Suisse has downgraded GWA Group to neutral from outperform. The investment bank says year-to-date sales are down 5 per cent and it appears, while consumer discretionary peers have posted strong growth, GWA Group has not participated in the recovery so far. Shares in GWA Group (ASX:GWA) are almost 1 per cent lower at $2.62.

IPO’s

Candle retailer Dusk has commenced trading on the ASX with an issue price of $2.00. The stock started trading at $1.61 and is now sitting at $1.70.

Company news

GPT Property Group (ASX:GPT) will divest its 25 per cent interest in 1 Farrer Place, Sydney. The execution of the sale is subject to pre-emptive first right arrangements with co-owners. Shares in GPT Group (ASX:GPT) ARE 2.6 per cent higher at $4.13. Staying with REIT’s, Dexus (ASX:DXS) has conditionally exchanged contracts to sell 60 Miller Street, North Sydney. The sale will realise net proceeds of $273 million, representing a circa 3% premium to the property’s book value at 30 June 2020 . Shares in Dexus (ASX:DXS) are 2.4 per cent higher at $8.82.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is utilities gaining almost 1.7 per cent while the communications sector is lagging behind shedding 0.4 per cent. The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is AMP (ASX:AMP) rising 8 per cent to $1.65, followed by shares in Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK)  and CSR (ASX:CSR) The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Seek (ASX:SEK) dropping 5.8 per cent to $20.27 , followed by shares in Omni Bridgeway (ASX:OBL) and Costa Group (ASX:CGC).

Commodities

Gold is trading at US$1,877 an ounce.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a rise of 1.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.08 US cents.