September quarter capex falls 3%: ASX tracking 0.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market opened lower and is now tracking 0.1 per cent lower at noon. Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN) shares have shot up after reporting a 160.1 per cent increase in profit before tax between July 1 and October 31. Meanwhile, shares in Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK) have dropped after they withdrew their finance year 2022 targets.

The S&P/ASX 200 index 

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 9 points lower at 6,675. On the futures market the SPI is suggesting a rise of 2 points.

Local economic news

Total new capital expenditure fell by -3.0% in the September quarter 2020. Buildings and structures fell by -3.7% in the September quarter 2020.

Broker moves

Macquarie rates Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK) as a Downgrade to a Neutral from an Outperform. The appeal of investment in Virgin Money UK has diminished with recent re-rating, Macquarie suggests. The broker believes that from here, performance will likely be driven more by UK bank sector trends rather than Virgin-specific factors. While there is scope for a substantial longer term re-rating, the execution of portfolio optimisation and ability to deliver on synergies remain key, the broker warns, and visibility on execution is limited. Target price is $2.70. Shares in Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK) are currently 9.2 per cent lower at $2.36.

Company news

Litigation funder Omni Bridgeway (ASX:OBL) says the states of Queensland and Victoria have given their consent to be group members in the Combustible Cladding Class Actions in the Federal Court of Australia. Total claims are expected to exceed $500 million. The group members in the class action include owners’ corporations, commercial building owners and public bodies in all Australian States and Territories. Shares in Omni Bridgeway (ASX:OBL) are currently 1.2 per cent lower at $4.29.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Infotech adding 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Financials having lost 0.9 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Harvey Norman Holdings (ASAX:HVN) rising 5.9 per cent to $4.85, followed by shares in Technology One (ASX:TNE) and Lynas Corp (ASX:LYC).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK) dropping 9.2 per cent to $2.36, followed by shares in Worley ASX:WOR) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,810 an ounce.
Iron Ore Price is flat $127.41.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.66US cents.