Australian businesses grow 2% in 2019-2020: ASX tracking 0.5% at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market lifted during the early trading hours and is tracking 0.5 per cent higher or 35 points higher at noon at 6,904. On the futures market the SPI is 37 points higher.

Economic News

In 2019-20 there was a 2 per cent, or 46,651, increase in the number of businesses.
Payroll jobs increased by 1.3 per cent between the weeks ending 16 and 30 January 2021. The biggest change was in Tasmania where it was up 2.2 per cent.



Broker moves

Credit Suisse rates Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY) as a Downgrade to a Neutral from an Outperform with a target price of $1.50. The broker believes a takeover is likely and there is an opportunity for Essity to amalgamate its Australia medical business with Asaleo. Even so, Credit Suisse concedes the risk of no-deal is a possibility in which case the share price may retrace its recent gains. Target price is $1.50. Shares in Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY) are currently 0.4 per cent lower at $1.37.

Company news

Codan (ASX:CDA) has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the shares in US-based company, Domo Tactical Communications, from a Private Equity company. DTC is an established technology provider for high bandwidth wireless communications. DTC is a trusted and long term supplier into more than 20 key United States government agencies as well as the “Five Eyes” intelligence communities. The Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The acquisition comprises an upfront payment of $114 million. Shares in Codan (ASX:CDA) are 9.3 per cent higher at $13.59.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, adding 1.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Discretionary shedding 0.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), rising 9.6 per cent to $13.87, followed by shares in SIMS (ASX:SGM) and Appen (ASX:APX).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE), dropping 5.3 per cent to $9.61, followed by shares in Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) and GWA Group (ASX:GWA).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,821 an ounce.
Iron ore is flat at $166.08.
Futures are pointing to a rise of 2.4 per cent
One Australian dollar is buying 77.90 US cents.