Big four banks down: ASX 0.6% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market opened lower following mixed leads from Wall Street and is now tracking 0.6 per cent lower at noon. Woolworths (ASX:WOW) shares saw a rise throughout the morning as they reported saw food sales improve in its third quarter by 4.2 per cent. AMP (ASX:AMP) shares have taken a dip after reporting expected weakness in inflows and higher outflows post-Royal Commission. This and banks dragged the financial sector down. Also ANZ's (ASX:ANZ) weaker than expected result and NAB (ASX:NAB) slashing its dividend. Westpac (ASX:WBC) is down over 1 per cent. Healthcare was the best performer of the day. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 40 points lower at 6336. On the futures market the SPI is 37 points lower.

Broker calls

Citi has maintained it buy position in National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) after it released its results, with its half year net profit after tax rising 4.3 per cent, compared to the same time last year, while it slashed its dividend by 16 per cent, to $0.83 per share. Citi Research says its headline profit result was better than expected, while NAB’s revenue was 1 per cent ahead of its expectations. Citi also expects the bank stock will yield a total 12 month return of 22.1 per cent. Shares in NAB (ASX:NAB) are trading 0.7 per cent lower at $25.59. 

Company news

Medical device company PolyNovo (ASX:PVN) has had its first million-dollar month. Revenue from BTM sales for the month of April are over $1 million compared to the same time last year when they were over $321,000. At the AGM in November 2018 the Chairman advised shareholders that at the then company cost base, a million-dollar revenue per month was a rough indicator the company was at or close to break-even. Shares in PolyNovo (ASX:PVN) trading 5.4 per cent higher at $1.08.

Financial market software company, IRESS (ASX:IRE) has partnered with neobank Volt to support its mortgage customers, and transform lending in Australia. In the UK, one in four mortgages are processed through IRESS’ software. Changing pace, at its AGM today, IRESS reinforced it’s expecting segment profit growth of between 6 to 11 per cent in 2019, compared to 2018 currency basis. Shares in IRESS (ASX:IRE) are up 0.8 per cent to $14.69

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Healthcare 0.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Financials, shedding 1.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), rising 7.9 per cent to $0.65, followed by shares in Nearmap (ASX:NEA) and Emeco Holdings (ASX:EHL).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pendal Group (ASX:PDL), dropping 12.2 per cent to $8.11, followed by shares in AMP (ASX:AMP) and Ausdrill (ASX:ASL).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite are closed. Hong Kong's Hang Sang is trading 0.1 per cent higher.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,275 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.25 US cents.

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