The ASX has opened firmly lower with broad based losses across the majority of sectors, but materials and healthcare have managed to edge into the green. Financials and communications services are leading the declines. NAB is down by 2.5 per cent while CBA is down over 1 per cent. JB Hi-Fi jumped in early trade to reach a new record of $51.33 following stellar results and is now trading around $49.78 cents. Kogan reached a new record high after posting a 55.9 per cent gain in full-year net profit to $26.8m as booming online sales saw its full-year revenue rise by 13.5 per cent to $497.9m.
The S&P/ASX 200 index
The index is 33 points lower or 0.5 per cent lower at 6,093. On the futures market the SPI is 57 points lower.
Local economic news
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released data on overseas travel arrivals with low levels continuing in July. International arrivals to Australia decreased by 29.1 per cent compared to June and were down 99.1 per cent compared to the year earlier period.
Credit Suisse has upgraded grocery wholesaler Metcash to outperform from neutral. The investment bank says Macro factors are expected to support expenditure on food retail. Metcash is also expected to experience mid-high single digit sales growth.
Credit Suisse has raised the price target to $3.47 from $3.07. Shares in Metcash are currently trading 0.5 per cent lower at $3.02
JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) has bucked the covid downturn delivering a 21 per cent lift in full-year profit to $302.3 million. The retailer reported underlying earnings per share of $2.632, beating the consensus estimate by 4.6 per cent.
The surge came on the back of bump in the company’s consumer electronics and white goods market throughout the pandemic lockdown.
The company will pay a final dividend of 90 cents a share fully franked, up almost 80 per cent on 2019.Total sales grew by 12.5 per cent to $5.32 billion, with comparable sales up 12.2 per cent, the retailer said of its Australian segment. Shares in JB Hi-Fi are currently 5.2 per cent higher at $49.78 cents.
Meantime Argo Investments has not weathered the covid storm so well. The listed investment company’s financial year 2020 profit fell 31.8 per cent to $199.5 million.
Income from operating activities was also lower at $225 million from $315 million last financial year.
The listed investment company lowered its final dividend payout to 14 cents a share, fully franked, from 17 cents a share a year ago.
Shares in Argo Investments are 0.3 per cent higher at $7.70.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is materials gaining 0.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is financials losing 1.4 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is ADBRI (ASX:ABC) rising 5.3 per cent to $2.38, followed by shares in Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and JB HI-FI (ASX:JBH).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is GWA GROUP. (ASX:GWA) dropping 8.9 per cent to $2.52, followed by shares in BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK (ASX:BEN) and UNIBAIL-RODAMCO-WESTFIELD (ASX:MSB).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,941 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.9 per cent higher at US$122.40
Iron ore futures are suggesting a rise of 0.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.91US cents.