Health insurance premiums to rise in early 2021: ASX tracking 0.4% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market opened lower this morning with the S&P/ASX 200 Index 26 points down or 0.4 per cent lower at 6,650. Futures are pointing to a fall of 32 points. Shares in online retailer Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) ar doing well today. Shares in Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) have seen a drop of over 9 per cent. Materials only sector making gains so far this morning.

Broker call

Morgan Stanley rates the A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) as an Upgrade to an Equal-weight from an Underweight. A2 Milk now expects FY21 operating earnings (EBITDA) of NZ$406m, a -29% decline. This reflects a reduction in expected sales and a lower margin. Stock is now down -45% since the August result, mainly due to losses from the overseas markets. Target is reduced to $11.00. Shares in the A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) are currently 2.2 per cent higher at $10.36.

Company news

The Federal Minister for Health today announced that private health insurance premiums will change across the industry, effective 1 April 2021. Medibank (ASX:MPL) has received approval to increase Medibank and ahm health insurance premiums by an average of 3.25 per cent from 1 April 2021 – its lowest average premium increase in 20 years. Shares in Medibank (ASX:MPL) are currently 1.4 per cent higher at $2.97.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials gaining 0.4 per cent while the sector trailing behind is Real Estate Investment Trust shedding 1.5 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) rising 5.5 per cent to $19.04, followed by shares in Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) and Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA)
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) dropping almost 9.4 per cent to $29.87, followed by shares in Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) and EML Payments (ASX:EML).

Commodities

Gold is trading at US$1,894 an ounce.
Iron ore is 3.7 per cent higher at $164.39.
Futures are suggesting a rise of 6.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.99US.