Afterpay falls 3.9%, Fortescue CEO steps down: ASX down 0.5% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket is trading in negative territory this morning as energy, health care and technology stocks weigh on the market. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.5 per cent or 34.8 points lower at 7349.7. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 20 points.

All sectors are in the red, except utilities, up 0.6 per cent. Technology is dragging the lowest, down 1.6 per cent, followed by health care, down 1.5 per cent, then energy, down 1.3 per cent.

Buy now, pay later giants are leading the losses, with Afterpay (ASX:APT) down 3.8 per cent and Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) down 3.2 per cent. 

Health stocks are weighing, with CSL (ASX:CSL) down 1.4 per cent, ResMed (ASX:RMD) down 1.9 per cent and Sonic Helthcare (ASX:SHL) down 1.6 per cent, despite no official company news released from the three companies today. 

Energy stocks are lower, led by Santos (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) both down 1.7 per cent as they take the final steps to complete merger. Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) is also down 2.1 per cent and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) is down 2.8 per cent. 

Among the miners, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is down 0.8 per cent on news that its CEO is stepping down. Keep an eye out for a story released this afternoon. 

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the monthly business turnover indicator for October, which rises in 9 of the 13 published industries in October 2021.

The largest increase was in accommodation and food services, up 13.8 per cent. Falls ranged from minus 1.9 per cent in mining to minus 4.7 per cent in other services. All industries rose through the year to October 2021, with mining showing the largest annual rise, up 28.5 per cent. 

Company news

NZ medical wholesaler EBOS (ASX:EBO) has completed its $642 million (NZ$674 million) placement to partly fund the $1.7 billion acquisition of medical device distributor LifeHealthcare.

Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) has agreed to acquire a geothermal renewable energy power plant from energy supplier Pfalzwerke AG in Germany.

Auto-parts supplier Bapcor (ASX:BAP) has refinanced $270 million worth of debt by extending its maturity profile from July 2022.
 
Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities, up 0.6 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 1.6 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU), trading 4.9 per cent higher at $9.21. It is followed by shares in Redbubble (ASX:RBL) and NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Afterpay (ASX:APT), trading 3.8 per cent lower at $96.43. It is followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Zip Co (ASX:Z1P).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1777.05 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.3 per cent lower at US$106.70 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.39 US cents.

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