Household wealth increased 1.7% to record high: ASX tracking 0.7% higher

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

The Australian share market opened higher this morning with the S&P/ASX 200 Index 45 point higher or 0.7 per cent higher at 6724. Futures are pointing to a rise of 42 points. Shares in Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) are performing well today after operations resumed at the Big Bell underground mine. While shares in Service Stream(ASX:SSM) are the worst performing stock despite their announcement yesterday securing an agreement with NBN.

Economic news
According to the figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in November, the unemployment rate decreased to 6.8 per cent with the employment rate increased by 0.7 per cent while Total household wealth increased 1.7 per cent to a record high of $11,351 billion .

Broker moves
Citi has upgraded their rating Northern Star (ASX:SSM) to Buy from Neutral.They have downgraded its outlook for gold anticipating a peak in the price in 2021 before it unwinds in 2022 due to the vaccine development and a return to global growth. Gold prices are expected to make a push above US$1975 an ounce in the next 6-9 months. The broker observes the ASX gold index is down -20% over the past three months on expectations of lower gold prices. Target price is $13.90 Current Price is $12.19 Difference: $1.71. Shares in Northern Star (ASX:SSM) are trading 1.7 per cent higher at $12.40.

Company news

Freedom Foods Group (ASX:FNP) is to sell its cereal and snacks operations to The Arnott’s Group for $20 million. Net cash proceeds are estimated at $11 million after deducting costs. The sale includes the cereal and snacks manufacturing facilities in Leeton and Darlington Point in NSW and in Dandenong in Victoria, as well as all brands associated with the business, including Freedom Foods, Messy Monkeys, Heritage Mill, Arnold’s Farm and Barley+. The move is part of the ongoing program to simplify the Company’s business structure and product range, improve profitability and prioritise growth opportunities. Shares in Freedom Foods Group (ASX:FNP) last traded at $3.01.

IPOs
Playside (ASX: PLY) started today. They development of mobile games that are distributed and downloaded on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. Their issue price was $0.20. They started trading at $0.35 and they are currently at $0.33.

Mineral exploration Weststar resources (ASX:WSR) also started trading today. Their issue price was $0.20. They started trading at $0.25 and they are currently at $0.24.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is information technology added 2.2 per cent while the worst performing is Industrials shedding 0.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) rising 6.5 per cent to $1.39 followed by shares in NetWealth (ASX:NWL) and Westgold (ASX:WGX)

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Service Stream (ASX:SSM) dropping almost 12.9 per cent to $1.83 followed by shares in Corporate Travel (ASX:CTD) and Blackmores (ASX:BKL).

Commodities

Gold is trading at US$1,864 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.9 per cent higher at US$156.45.
Futures are suggesting a rise of 0.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 0.75 US cents.