At lunch on Monday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) looks set to start the shortened week with a disappointing decline. The benchmark index is currently down 0.4% to 6,648.9 points.
Here’s what has been happening on the market today:
Private health premium increases.
Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) and NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF) shares are both pushing higher on Monday after the Federal Minister for Health approved health insurance premium increases for 2021. While Medibank has recorded its lowest increase in two decades, NIB has increased its premiums by a larger than normal amount. This reflects rising healthcare costs and its lower premium base compared to the industry average.
A2 Milk rebounds
The a2 Milk Company (ASX: A2M) share price is rebounding from Friday’s guidance downgrade-related selloff. One broker that sees this share price weakness as a buying opportunity is Morgans. This morning the broker retained its add rating but cut the price target on the company’s shares to $12.20.
Travel shares sink lower.
A number of travel shares such as Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) and Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) are dropping lower today and are weighing on the market. Investors appear to be selling them amid concerns over the outbreak of COVID-19 in New South Wales. If things are not brought under control, it has the potential to derail the recovery in the domestic travel market. This could extend the cash burn being experienced by these companies.
Best and worst ASX 200 performers.
The best performer on the ASX 200 on Monday has been the PolyNovo Ltd (ASX: PNV) share price with a 4% gain. This is despite there being no news out of the medical device company. The worst performer has been the WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) share price with a 10% decline. This appears to have been driven by a short seller attack which is questioning the company’s acquisitions.