Current account surplus increased to $14.5b: ASX tracking 0.4% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market opened higher. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 25 points up or 0.4 per cent higher at 6,814. On the futures market the SPI is 26 points higher.

Local economic news

In the December quarter 2020, Australia's Current account had its seventh consecutive quarterly surplus increasing $3.8 billion to $14.5 billion (seasonally adjusted) according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This increase was mainly driven by an increase in the goods and services surplus.

Capital Economics upgraded its view on fourth-quarter GDP, to 2.7 per cent quarter on quarter, from a previous forecast of 2.3 per cent.

Broker moves

Citi rates Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) as an Upgrade to a Buy from a Neutral. Citi believes nominal gold prices have peaked this cycle and downgrades gold price forecasts by -5 per cent in 2021 to US$1,800/oz while the long term gold price remains unchanged at US$1,400/oz. Target price is $4.80 is Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) 1.5 per cent lower at $4.03.

Company news

The Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) has been approved to extend the short-term GBP65million loan it received last year under the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF). The funds were initially made available for 12 months to support short-term liquidity among firms as they worked to overcome disruption caused by the virus and the restrictions that were applied to slow its spread. Shares in the Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) are 1.2 per cent lower at $16.84.

IPOs

Additive manufacturing company 3D Metal Forge (ASX:3MF) started trading today. They support companies by integrating additive manufacturing printers, software and materials and providing diagnostic, part design and engineering. The company issued at $0.20, started trading at $0.35 and is currently trading at $0.29.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Infotech, adding 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 1.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is AP Eagers (ASX:APE), rising 6.2 per cent to $14.39, followed by shares in SIMS (ASX:SGM) and Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR), dropping 3.8 per cent to $1.14, followed by shares in Omni Bridgeway (ASX:OBL) and Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,724 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.7 per cent to US$174.55.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.63 US cents.