Brambles soars on takeover talks, Macquarie falls: ASX up 0.5% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Aussie sharemarket has advanced this morning buoyed by a jump in Brambles (ASX:BXB) and tech shares. This comes after an optimistic finish on Wall Street, which saw a relief-rally following five brutal trading sessions after the Fed's decision the prior week.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.5 per cent or 35 points higher at 7110.20. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 49 points.

On the local index, industrials are leading the pack, up 2.6 per cent, followed by information tech, up 2.4 per cent, then communication services, up 1.1 per cent. On the other hand, healthcare is weighing, down 0.7 per cent with utilities as the only other sector trading lower.

Brambles (ASX:BXB) is soaring 10.7 per cent to $11.55 as the top performer after confirming that it had spoken to private equity group CVC Capital Partners about a potential takeover deal. Under the proposal, CVC would acquire all shares in Brambles, although the supply chain logistics company said there has been no formal proposal received at this stage. Brambles’ gains are pushing the industrials sector higher, with Qube (ASX:QUB) also up 4.3 per cent to $2.90 after completing a $400 million buy-back.

Tech shares are on the move, with Life360 (ASX:360) up 6.3 per cent to $3.73 and Afterpay owner Block (ASX:SQ2) up 4.5 per cent to $120.04. 

Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) is weighing on major banks, down 1.6 per cent to $180.27 after trading without the right to its dividend today. The other banks are higher, led by Westpac (ASX:WBC), up 1.5 per cent to $24.35.

Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) is leading the energy circle, up 1.1 per cent to $30.74, followed by Santos (ASX:STO), trading 0.7 per cent higher at $8.11.

Heavyweight miner Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is trading 0.5 per cent higher at $19.48, while Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is down 0.4 per cent to $105.19 and BHP Group (ASX:BHP) is trading 0.4 per cent lower at $45.65.

Gold stocks are higher, led by Northern Star (ASX:NST), up 0.9 per cent to $8.61, and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), up 0.9 per cent to $3.46.

Company news

Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) has confirmed FY22 guidance despite Covid-19 challenges and global geopolitical tensions. The property giant confirmed operating earnings per share growth of 23 per cent, and a full year distribution of 30 cents per share. Shares are trading 2.4 per cent higher at $20.15.

Auckland Airport’s (ASX:AIA) total number of passengers fell during March despite a jump in international passengers. Total passengers during April increased by 4.2 per cent versus April 2021. April was a better month, but it was similar to March. Shares are trading 1.5 per cent higher at $6.72.

Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) has revised its F22 guidance. Underlying EBITDAX was revised upwards, production was narrowed to the upper end of its previous guidance, sales were narrowed and capital expenditure was revised lower. Shares are trading 1.9 per cent higher at $0.27.

Chrysos Corporation (ASX:C79) has signed five new leasing contracts, bringing the total number of units to 38, up from 33 units. The new Chrysos PhotonAssay contracts increase its total contract value by $108.6 million to $559.8 million. Shares are trading 12.8 per cent higher at $4.85.

Calix (ASX:CXL) and Boral (ASX:BLD) have secured $30 million in government funding under the government’s Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) Hubs and Technologies Program. Shares in Calix (ASX:CXL) are trading 2.3 per cent higher at $6.73, while shares in Boral (ASX:BLD) are trading 2.4 per cent higher at $3.36.

What else is on watch?

Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) has its extraordinary general meeting, with shares up 0.4 per cent to $1.72.

In broker moves, JP Morgan initiated coverage of Endeavour Group (ASX:EDV) to overweight with a price target of $8.60, with shares up 1.8 per cent to $7.73.

Jarden has upgraded Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) to a buy from overweight to $20.58, citing recent fall in share price, with shares up 4.1 per cent to $21.43.

Perpetual (ASX:PPT) is on speculation of a potential buyout of Australian Equity Trustee business, according to The Australian. Shares are trading 0.4 per cent lower at $32.31.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Industrials, up 2.6 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Health Care, down 0.7 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Brambles (ASX:BXB), trading 10.7 per cent higher at $11.55. It is followed by shares in Domino Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) and Life360 (ASX:360).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Imugene (ASX:IMU), trading 5.7 per cent lower at $0.17. It is followed by shares in City Chic Collective (ASX:CCX) and Sims (ASX:SGM).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1815.46 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.2 per cent lower at US$127.35 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.29 US cents.

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