The Australian share market dropped during the early trading hours and is tracking 0.7 per cent lower or 49 points lower at noon at 6,869. On the futures market the SPI is 55 points lower. Materials is the only sector in the green.
Citi rates Altium (ASX:ALU) as an Upgrade to a Buy from a Neutral. While envisaging downside risk to second half earnings, Citi now suspects Altium is nearing the end of the pandemic-induced downgrade cycle. Current consensus price target is $33.44. Shares in Altium (ASX:ALU) are currently 2.5 per cent lower $28.61.
Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY) and Essity Group Holdings have entered into a Scheme Implementation Agreement under which it is proposed that Essity will acquire all outstanding ordinary shares in Asaleo not already owned by the Essity group. Essity's $1.40 a share cash offer for the toilet paper business implies equity value for approximately $760 million. Sweden's Essity is buying the 63.8 per cent of Asaleo it doesn't own. Shares in Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY) trading 4.6 per cent higher at $1.43.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Materials, adding 1.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Staples shedding 3.7 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is EML Payments (ASX:EML), rising 15.4 per cent to $4.86, followed by shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) and ARB Corporation (ASX:ARB).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), dropping 13.8 per cent to $12:00, followed by shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,793 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.40 US cents.
And finally a reminder our first investor event for 2021 is Feb 23, 5 companies starting 12:30pm details including registration at the link https://www.finnewsnetwork.com.au/page/investor-events.