Utilities is only sector in the red: ASX tracking 0.9% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market lifted during the early trading hours and is tracking 0.9 per cent higher or 59 points higher at noon at 6,865. Nearmap (ASX:NEA) shares have risen after reporting pleasing half year results Utilities is only sector in the red. On the futures market the SPI is 59 points higher.

Broker moves

Credit Suisse rates Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) as a Downgrade to a Neutral from an Outperform. Led by the recent share price strength, the rating is downgraded. The broker does not expect a large scale acquisition looking at the inflated asset prices and that a capital return is likely in 2021. Target price is $56.7. Shares in Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) are trading flat at $55.00.

Company news

CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) has signed a share purchase agreement with SALD Investment LLC for the sale of CIMIC’s investment in the Middle East. SALD, a privately owned, UAE-based investment company, will own all BICC’s businesses in the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia. While CIMIC has agreed to contribute a certain amount of funds into BICC, the transaction does not increase CIMIC's previously announced financial exposure to the Middle East. Shares in the CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) are currently 0.8 per cent higher at $20.71.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, adding 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Utilities, shedding 1.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nearmap (ASX:NEA), rising 13.7 per cent to $2.46, followed by shares in Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) and ZIP Co (ASX:Z1P.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Altium (ASX:ALU),dropping 3.3 per cent to $29.65, followed by shares in Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and AGl Energy (ASX:AGL).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,824 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.66 US cents.