Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN) set to divest oil and gas: Aus shares down 0.3% over week

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

After a strong start, the ASX slumped mid-session and tracked sideways for most of the afternoon to finish the day 0.1 per cent lower. Suncorp jumped over 11 per cent today, as investors responded to its annual results, and its new climate-change commitments. Suncorp Chief Executive Steve Johnston demanded that the federal government focus on climate resilience during its post-pandemic recovery program after a record year of climate change related bushfires and extreme weather events hit the balance sheet hard.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 9 points lower to finish at 6,111.

After a big week of reporting, the market has lost 15 points or 0.3 per cent.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 37 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 17 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 15 point fall on Monday morning.

Economic news

According to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian retail turnover rose 3.3 per cent in July (seasonally adjusted). Turnover was up 12.2 per cent compared to July 2019. Retail turnover rose in all states and territories except Victoria last month.

Company news

Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN) net profit after tax was up around 422 per cent year on year to $913 million. The 2020 figure was infled by $285 million in after-tax profit from the sale of the Capital SMART and ACM Parts businesses. Suncorp will stop insuring and investing in oil and gas projects by 2025, and cease investing directly in fossil fuels by 2040. This builds on the company’s commitment to phase out of existing thermal coal by 2025. Shaares in Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN) closed 11.1 per cent higher at $9.65.

The a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) has lobbed an offer to acquire e a 75.1 per cent interest in a New Zealand dairy company for approximately NZ$270 million.

Redbubble Group’s (ASX:RBL) EBITDA was up 358 per cent to $5.1 million. This marks the company’s first EBITDA profit since its initial public offering in 2016.

Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) has sold its vendor finance business, Strategic Alliances, to Angle Finance.

Wall Street

Wrapped up our four trading days this week mixed: The Dow Jones lost 0.7 per cent, The S&P 500 added 0.4 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq gained 2.2 per cent.
 
Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts, closing 1.5 per cent higher, while the worst-performing sector was Health Care, closing 1.3 per cent lower.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Webjet (ASX:WEB), closing 11.8 per cent higher at $3.60, followed by shares in Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN) and Nearmap (ASX:NEA).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL), closing 4.6 per cent lower at $14.18, followed by shares in IDP Education (ASX:IEL) and Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL).

Asian markets

Higher. Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 1.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,947 an ounce.
The iron ore price is 0.2 per cent higher at US$129.32.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.2 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.01 lower at US$43.38 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.04 US cents.

You can find details on our website about this month’s Investor Event on Tuesday, 25 August 2020.