The ASX is having a hesitant start to the trading session as expected. It comes as Wall Street closed lower with the benchmark interest rate, the US benchmark 10-year yield hit a fresh four-year high. And local investors and traders are absorbing a suite of mixed company results amid in the busiest reporting day of this year. The likes of Blackmores (ASX:BKL) has fallen 14 per cent after it reported its half year results while industrial logistics and infrastructure company, Qube (ASX:QUB) fell about 6 per cent after it reported a drop in net profit and earning in the six months ending December.
Just under half of the sectors are seeing gains with the consumer discretionary and stables sectors rising the most with Nine Entertainment’s (ASX:NEC) shares soaring over 19 per cent after it announced a 55 per cent lift in its half-year net profit after tax. Also rubbing shoulders with today best performers is a2 Milk (ASX:A2M) extending its rally from yesterday after it reported a 150 per cent jump in its net profit after tax to NZ$98.5 million.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 4 points lower or 0.09 per cent down at 5,931 On the futures market the SPI is 15 points lower.
Westfield Corporation (ASX:WFD) reported a $185 million rise in its net profit after tax (NPAT) to $1.6 billion in the 12 months to December. Its funds from operations (FFO) per security came in at 34 cents, which is at the top of the group’s forecast. It also paid a distribution of 25.5 cents per security. As for 2018, The group says given the proposed combination with Europe’s Unibail-Rodamco it will provide a 2018 forecast for distributions or FFO. Shares in Westfield Corporation are trading 0.2 per cent lower at $8.60.
Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) reported its net profit after tax fell 34 per cent (after factoring in significant items), which took its profit to $239 million in the half 2018 financial year. Meantime its normalised revenue grew 5 per cent to $1.6 billion. Shares in Crown Resorts were trading 4 per cent higher at $13.03.
Software company, Simble Solutions Limited (ASX:SIS) started trading today, floating with an issue price of $0.20, opening at $0.25 and its trading at $0.24.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is S&P/ASX Consumer Discretionary adding 1 per cent to 2,307 points while the worst performing sector is S&P/ASX Utilities shedding 2.6 per cent to 7,568 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nine Entertainment Holdings (ASX:NEC), rising 19.76 per cent to $2.03, followed by shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL), dropping 14.36 per cent to $136.61, followed by shares in Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) and Iress (ASX:IRE).
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,326 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.97 US cents.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin has dropped about 7 per cent to US$10,306, Tether has marginally fallen and is holding around US$1 and Ethereum has shed 6 per cent to US$847.