Unemployment rate increased to 7% in October: ASX now tracking 0.3% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market now tracking 0.3 per cent lower at noon. Shares in Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) and Virgin Money (ASX:VUK) both did well today. United Malt Group (ASX:UMG) shares are down after reporting yesterday that their revenue was down 2 per cent on volume decline in the second half.

The S&P/ASX 200 index

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 22 points down at 6,509. On the futures market the SPI is suggesting a fall of 19 points.

Local economic news

The unemployment rate increased to 7.0 per cent in seasonally adjusted estimates for October 2020.

Broker moves

Credit Suisse rates United Malt Group (ASX:UMG) as a Downgrade to an Underperform from Neutral. The broker downgrades FY21 estimates to allow for a partial reversion of the current sales trajectory during the northern hemisphere winter. Temporary cost reductions and some government assistance also benefited the business during the year and these inputs may not continue in FY21. Target price is $4.23. Shares in United Malt Group (ASX:UMG) are currently 3.6 per cent lower $4.57.

Company news

Starpharma (ASX:SPL) has completed additional testing on its nasal spray for use against a common and contagious virus, that affects the lungs and airways called respiratory syncytial virus. RSV is also one of the viruses responsible for the common cold. The testing showed that the nasal spray was effective against RSV when used either before or after exposure to the virus. Shares in Starpharma (ASX:SPL) are 6.1 per cent higher at $1.40.


Online direct personal lender Harmoney Corp (ASX:HMY) started trading today issued at $3.50. Started trading at $3.41 and is currently at $3.34.

Mineral exploration company Metalhawk (ASX:MHK) also started trading today. Their shares were issued at $0.20. Started trading at $0.26 and is currently at $0.28.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Consumer Discretionary adding 0.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Healthcare shedding 1.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is ALS (ASX:ALQ) rising almost 8 per cent to $10.22, followed by shares in Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) and Virgin Money (ASX:VUK).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 QBE Insurance (ASX:QBE) dropping 4.3 per cent to $9.96, followed by shares in United Malt Group (ASX:UMG) and Pro Medicus (ASX:PME).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,870 an ounce.
Iron Ore Price has added 0.7 per cent at $126.34.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.88US cents.

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