CBA forecasts decline in unemployment: Aus shares tracking 0.4% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Michael Luu

The Australian sharemarket has defied Wall Street’s optimism from Friday and dipped at the open. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and major iron ore players have weighed on the market, as Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) and BHP (ASX:BHP) are both sustaining losses. CBA has also forecasted the unemployment rate to decline at a rapid pace this year, based on forward-looking indicators.

At noon, the ASX200 is tracking 0.4 per cent or 25 points down at 6,971. Its futures are pointing to a fall of 28 points.

Company news

BHP (ASX:BHP)’s 50 per cent-owned Brazilian mining corporation Samarco has requested judicial reorganisation (JR) with Brazilian authorities.

Casino operator Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) has found a new director in the form of former SkyCity (ASX:SKC) deputy chair Bruce Carter, pending probity clearance.

Centuria Industrial REIT (ASX:CIP) has added a distribution centre in the strategic infill market of Arndell Park to its $784 million pipeline of industrial asset acquisitions in FY21.

Perenti Global-owned African Underground Mining Services (AUMS) has been awarded a 2-year contract extension for its business with AngloGold Ashanti (ASX:AGG). The deal worth $235 million will allow AUMS to continue and expand operations at the Geita Mine in Tanzania.

The board of Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) has accepted the resignation of CEO Leon Clement.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, adding 0.2 per cent, while the worst-performing sector is REITs, shedding 1.3 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), rising 4.1 per cent to $1.21. It's followed by shares in Appen (ASX:APX) and Xero (ASX:XRO).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is (ASX:KGN), dropping almost 5 per cent to $12.64. It's followed by shares in Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) and Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,741 an ounce.
The iron ore price has risen 0.3 per cent to US$173.54 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.06 US cents.