1 in 5 Australians expect household finances to improve next year: ASX tracking 0.7% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market dropped at the open and is now tracking 0.7 per cent lower at noon. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 49 points down at 6,778. On the futures market the SPI is 53 points lower.

Local economic news

About one in five (18%) people expect their household finances will improve over the next 12 months, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics household impacts of covid-19 survey.

Broker moves

Ord Minnett rates Telstra (ASX:TLS) as an Upgrade to a Buy from an Accumulate. With the national broadband network rollout affecting fixed margins, Ord Minnett notes the mobile retail sector is the most important earnings driver for Telstra Corp. According to the broker's assessment of the market, Telstra will lose share of the prepaid market to mobile virtual network operators (MVNO). The postpaid market remains lucrative for Telstra with the company better placed given its head start in the rollout of 5G infrastructure. Shares in Telstra (ASX:TLS) are currently 0.6 per cent higher at $3.14.

Company News

Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) today announced that it was bringing together the leadership of its Consumer and Business divisions into a new Consumer & Business Banking division. The new division will be led by the current Chief Executive, Consumer, Chris de Bruin. Shares in Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) are currently at 0.4 per cent lower at $24.64.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities, adding 0.5 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Materials, shedding 1.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW), rising 4.6 per cent to $5.67, followed by shares in Collins Foods (ASX:CKF) and Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD), dropping 5.1 per cent to $21.11, followed by shares in Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) and South32 (ASX:S32).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,731 an ounce.
Iron ore price is steady at $168.26.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.6 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.39US cents.

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