Vocus charges ahead on takeover talks: ASX 0.6% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The local market has had a solid start to the trading week, the S&P/ASX 200 Index is up 0.6 per cent or 42 points at 6882 points. SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 44 points as we head into afternoon trade. IT is leading the way with the likes of Afterpay up by 2.8 per cent and Xero up by over 2 per cent. Vocus Group is surging ahead up by 13.9 per cent after confirming it has received a takeover bid. Buy now pay later company Zip Co is also charging up by almost 9 per cent following media reports the company is presenting to US investors and contemplating a second listing. Shares in Sigma Healthcare are up almost 7 per cent after flagging a 35 per cent increase in earnings for Financial year 21.

Broker moves

Citi has upgraded Mount Gibson Iron (ASX:MGX) to buy from neutral. The investment bank has raised 2020 and 2021 benchmark iron ore price forecasts to US$140 and US$110 per tonne. Since the beginning of the year the Mount Gibson share price has fallen by 15 per cent. Along with large earnings revisions this causes the broker to upgrade the rating to Buy/High Risk from Neutral/High Risk. Target is raised to $1.20 from $1.10.

Company news

Splitit (SX:SPT) has appointed retail executive and former Myer boss Dawn Robertson as chairman after Spiro Pappas resigned from the board immediately to "pursue new endeavours". Shares in Splitit (ASX:SPT) are trading 3.2 per cent higher at $1.47.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is IT gaining 1.7 per cent while the sector trailing behind is utilities dropping 1.9 per cent. The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Vocus (ASX:VOC) rising 13.9 per cent to $4,99, followed by shares in Zipco (ASX:ZIP) and Iluka resources (ASX:ILU) The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is News Corporation (ASX:NWS) dropping 3.4 per cent to $27.45, followed by shares in Omni Bridgeway (ASX:OBL) and Origin Energy (ASX:ORG).

Commodities

Gold is trading at US$1,816 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.6 per cent lower at $157.01
Futures are suggesting a rise of 1.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.71 US.

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