IRESS (ASX:IRE) deny media speculation, Morgans rates Brickworks: ASX tracking 0.5% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

Text-only (non-video) report.

The Australian sharemarket is off to a positive start with a broad-based advance with Energy pressuring the index while Industrials and Materials remain flat following Wall Street’s weak lead as investors await inflation figures tomorrow.

Mining heavyweights BHP (ASX:BHP) is down 0.5 per cent while Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) fell 0.2 per cent while Fortescue Mining (ASX:FMG) is up 0.3 per cent.

Banks are mixed with Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) up 0.6 per cent followed by National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) up 0.3 per cent with ANZ (ASX:ANZ) as the outlier down 0.3 per cent.

Woolworths (ASX:WOW) are up 0.3 per cent on news the ACCC will not oppose Woolworths' acquisition of 65 per cent of shares in PFD Food Services. Austal (ASX:ASB) shares are down 0.2 per cent after ASIC launched civil proceedings against the shipbuilder.

Boral (ASX:BLD) shares dropped 1.2 per cent after the company told shareholders again to reject Seven Group’s offer.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.51 per cent or 37 points higher at 7307.20.

ASX futures

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 32 points.

Company news

Financial whistleblower ASIC has launched civil penalty proceedings against Austal (ASX:ASB) and its former chief executive David Singleton in the Federal Court of Australia on the company’s market disclosures with respect to Austal’s Littoral Combat Ship program before July 2016.

Property dynamo Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI) is set to acquire a 14-level office building in Victoria for $224 million for its new unlisted fund ‘Centuria Government Income Property Fund’.

Market platform provider Iress (ASX:IRE) notes the media speculation today in The Australian Financial Review about market activity by investment bank Barrenjoey.

Broker Moves

Morgans rates Brickworks (ASX:BKW) as a hold with a price target of $23.50. The downgrade in rating followed its strong share price performance and lifts its target price to $23.50 from $21.60. The broker notes the company provided a stronger-than-expected FY21 guidance from its Property segment thanks to an increase of $100 million being recognized in revaluation gains in its Property Trust. FY21 earnings for both Building Products Australia and Building Products North America are expected to be higher. Shares in Brickworks (ASX:BKW) last traded 1.92 per cent lower at $22.95.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trusts, up 1.91 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy down 0.71 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is IRESS (ASX:IRE) trading 9.04 per cent higher at $11.94 followed by shares in ResMed (ASX:RMD) and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Monadelphous Group (ASX:MND), trading 3.94 per cent lower at $9.76 followed by shares in Worley (ASX:WOR) and Corporate Travel Mgmt (ASX:CTD).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1887.36 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.31 US cents.
Iron ore is 1.50 per cent higher at US$212.67 a ton.
Iron ore futures are flat. 

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