Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares take a hit: ASX tracking 1% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market opened higher and is now tracking 1 per cent higher at noon. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 70 points up at 6,810. On the futures market the SPI is 64 points higher.

Local economic news

NAB’s monthly business survey for February showed a rise in business confidence to 16, from 12 a month ago, Business conditions rose to 15, from 9 last month.

Broker moves

Macquarie rates Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) as an Upgrade to an Outperform from a Neutral. The broker upgrades its copper price forecasts in the short-term by 20 per cent and 30 per cent in the medium-term to incorporate energy transition-related demand. The improved outlook drives an 8%-36% increase in the earnings forecasts for FY21-FY25 for Newcrest Mining. Target price is $30.00. Shares in Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) are currently 1.3 per cent lower at $23.56.

Company news

Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) today announced the successful completion and settlement of its $138 million private placement led by a strategic US investor group. The placement was raised via the issue of 60 million shares at $2.30 per share, and was led by a strategic investment from the principals of SurgCenter Development, one of the largest private operators of ambulatory surgical centres in the US specializing in spine, orthopaedic and total joint procedures. Shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) are 2.2 per cent lower at $2.21.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Financials, adding almost 2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Infotech, shedding 4.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Vocus (ASX:VOC), rising 8.6 per cent to $5.43, followed by shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Afterpay (ASX:APT),dropping 9.2 per cent to $101.02, followed by shares in Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG) and Megaport (ASX:MP1).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,685 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.1 per cent to US$174.34.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.8 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.47 US cents.
 

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