Reddit traders drive silver up: ASX flat at noon at 0.02% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The local sharemarket is flat at 0.02 per cent lower or 1 point lower to 6606. The SPI futures point to a fall of 5 points. Silver futures have soared more than 8 per cent this morning as GameStop traders move into precious metals. Shares in Worley have dropped today after they reported their first half revenue has been hit hard by Covid-19.

Local economic news

The total value of new loan commitments for housing and the value of owner occupier home loan commitments each reached record highs in December. The value of Australian home loans rose 8.6 per cent to $26 billion in December. 38.9 per cent higher than the previous year.



Broker moves

Credit Suisse rates United Malt Group (ASX:UMG) as an Upgrade to a Neutral from an Underperform with the target falling to $4.18 from $4.23. While expecting a below-market first-half update, the group will likely be an early beneficiary of a second-half re-opening, suggests the broker, led by a recovery in the on-premise channel. Reducing its capital expenditure burden and increasing the returns on incremental capital will raise the company's attractiveness, adds Credit Suisse. Shares in United Malt Group (ASX:UMG) are currently 0.5 per cent higher at $4.03.

Company news

The Board of AMA Group (ASX:AMA) has today appointed Carl Bizon as Chief Executive Officer having accepted the immediate resignation of Andrew Hopkins. Carl has been a non-executive director of AMA since February 2020. Shares in AMA Group (ASX:AMA) are trading 1.6 per cent higher at $0.66.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is materials gaining 0.5 per cent while the sector trailing behind is energy dropping 1.2 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) rising 4.6 per cent to $2.49, followed by shares in Blackmores (ASX:BKL) and Invocare (ASX:IVC).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Worley (ASX:WOR) dropping 14.9 per cent to $9.72 , followed by shares in Service Stream (ASX:SSM) and Atlas Arteria (ASX:ALX).

Commodities

Gold is trading at US$1,852 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.7 per cent higher at $158.54.
Futures are suggesting a fall of 0.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.43US.