SEEK (ASX:SEK) appoints CFO: ASX tracking 0.6% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

The Australian share market has retreated after lifting higher following mixed leads from the US and is now tracking 0.6 per cent lower at noon. Technology stocks faded in the first hour of trade on the back of the tech heavy Nasdaq closing lower. Likes of Afterpay (ASX:APT) are dragging the Technology sector shedding 7.5 per cent with Xero (ASX:XRO) dropping 2.3 per cent. On the other hand, travel stocks have lifted on the back of the Federal Government's tourism package that will replace Jobkeeper in April with Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) as the best performing stock at midday with Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Qantas (ASX:QAN) gaining momentum. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged for a two-way trans-Tasman travel bubble with New Zealand to assist the tourism sector.

The ASX 200 index is is 38 points down or 0.6 per cent lower at 6,676. On the futures market the SPI is suggesting a fall of 59 points.

Broker moves

Morgans rates biotech CSL (ASX:CSL) as an add which is an upgrade from a hold. While identifying plasma collection as the main concern, the broker sees upside in Seqirus, on the potential for a bad northern hemisphere flu season. The recent flu respite may leave the population more vulnerable to more severe flu outbreaks over the medium/long term. Morgans makes no changes to forecasts or the price target of $301.10. Shares in CSL (ASX:CSL) are trading 0.3 per cent lower at $251.42.

Company news

Online employment company, SEEK (ASX:SEK) has appointed Kate Koch as Chief Financial Officer. Kate is to replace Geoff Roberts after announcing his retirement in January this year. Kate is currently the CFO of RMIT University and been in role since 2017. Prior to that, Kate had broad international experience as a senior finance executive in the retail, publishing and media industries. Kate is set to join the team in June. Shares in SEEK (ASX:SEK) are trading 0.5 per cent higher at $26.69.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Industrials adding 0.9 per cent while the worst performing sector is Information Technology shedding 3.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) rising 9.5 per cent to $19.49 followed by shares in Atlas Arteria (ASX:ALX) and Janus Henderson Group (ASX:JHG).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Afterpay (ASX:APT) shedding 7.5 per cent to $106.58 followed by shares in Zipco (ASX:Z1P) and Challenger (ASX:CGF).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,725 an ounce.
Iron ore price has gained 0.2 per cent to US$164.67.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.25 US cents.