Suncorp cash earnings up 39%: ASX poised to open lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market looks set to open lower this morning despite a rally on Wall Street. Hopes rose as the coronavirus infection rates slowed in the US and more vaccines are rolled out. US stocks were higher for the sixth straight session. Bitcoin surged to an all-time high after Tesla invested $1.9 billion into the cryptocurrency. Iron ore futures rose, with China's benchmark contract lifting in light pre-holiday trade.

Local Economic News

The National Australia Bank (NAB) will issue the January business survey with readings on confidence and activity levels.

Markets

Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8 per cent to 31,386, the S&P 500 added 0.7 per cent to 3916 and the NASDAQ closed almost 1 per cent higher at 13,988.

European markets closed higher, London’s FTSE added 0.5 per cent, Paris also gained 0.5 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.02 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed higher, Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 2.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.1 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed over 1 per cent higher.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 0.2 per cent fall.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.6 per cent higher at 6881.

Company News

Suncorp (ASX:SUN) has delivered a strong 1H21 result with cash earnings of $509 million, up 39.5 per cent versus the pcp. This was driven by higher earnings across all businesses: Insurance (Australia), Banking & Wealth, and Suncorp New Zealand. Net profit after tax fell 23.7 per cent to $490 million, as last year’s results included gains from the sale of Capital SMART and ACM Parts. Shares in Suncorp (ASX:SUN) closed 0.67 per cent lower at $10.44 yesterday.

Ex-Dividends

AVA Risk Group Ltd (ASX:AVA) is paying 2 cents unfranked
Oceania Health Ltd (ASX:OCA) is paying 1.0247 cents unfranked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:20 AM was buying 77.04 US cents, 56.10 Pence Sterling, 81.07 Yen and 63.94 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has gained 2.2 per cent to US$160.50.
Iron Ore futures suggest 1.03 per cent gain.
Gold has gained $19.10 to US$1832 an ounce.
Silver was up $0.41 to US$27.43 an ounce.
Oil was up $1.22 to US$58.07 a barrel.

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