Travel stocks drop as Brisbane enters lockdown: ASX tracking 0.3% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market started well in early morning trade, only to drop lower throughout the morning and is now tracking 0.3 per cent lower at noon. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 22 points lower at 6,802. On the futures market the SPI is 29 points lower.

Broker moves

Macquarie rates Oil Search (ASX:OSH) as an Upgrade to a Neutral from an Underperform. Macquarie raises Brent oil price assumptions by 20 per cent for 2021 and by 7 per cent for 2022, expecting prices will peak at US$72 a barrel in the third quarter of 2021. The broker notes the sell down in Alaska is now critical for Oil Search as this has the potential to reduce net capital expenditure exposure and provide upfront funding. Target price is $4.40. Shares in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) are currently 1.4 per cent higher at $4.28.

Company news

Online real estate advertising company the REA Group (ASX:REA) has today entered into a Scheme Implementation Agreement with CBA-backed mortgage broker Mortgage Choice. The Offer represents an enterprise value of approximately $244 million or $1.95 a share. Mortgage Choice has more than 500 brokers, 380 franchises across the country, and over 30 lending partners. Shares in the REA Group (ASX:REA) are trading 2 per cent lower on the nose at $137.26.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, adding 0.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Information Technology, shedding 2.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU), rising 6.1 per cent to $7.18, followed by shares in SIMS (ASX:SGM) and Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL), dropping 5.3 per cent to $13.49, followed by shares in ZIP Co (ASX:Z1P) and (ASX:KGN).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,728 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.9 per cent to US$161.30.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.24 US cents.

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