The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 0.9 per cent lower or 59.5 points lower at 6821 points. Shares in the Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) are doing well today after they reported improved trading conditions across the group in the December quarter, but failed to pull up the ASX. Shares in Challenger (ASX:CGF) dropped over 14 per cent after it cut its interim dividend. And a NSW casino inquiry has found that the James Packer-backed Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) is not suitable to hold the licence to operate a new Sydney casino at Barangaroo after a public inquiry.
Dow futures are suggesting a dip of 11 points. S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 0.5 points. The Nasdaq futures are looking at a fall of 5 points. And the SPI futures are eyeing a fall of 56 points
Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) will pay estimated distribution of 7 cents per security for the second half of 2020. Scentre said it expected to report cash receipts of $2.357 billion and net operating cashflow of $771 million fpr the year ending 31st December 2020. It said it had also seen an improvement in cash rental collections, with $1.18 billion of rent collected during the second half compared with $875 million in the first half. Shares in the Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) closed 1.1 per cent lower at $2.76.
Dexus (ASX:DXS) report their first half net profit after tax is $442.9 million, down 55.5 per cent primarily due to net revaluation gains being lower than those recognised in the previous corresponding period.
The Board of Directors and management of Nick Scali (ASX:NCK) have decided to refund the $3.6 million wage subsidy received in the half-year ended 31 December 2020.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was materials with the fewest losses losing 0.4 per cent while the sector trailing behind was Real Estate Investment Funds dropping 2.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) rising 6.6 per cent at $143.14 followed by GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) and AP Eagers (ASX:APE)
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Challenger (ASX:CGF) dropping 14.8 per cent to $6.15, followed by Boral (ASX:BLD) and Adbri (ASX:ABC).
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.1 per cent Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 1.2 per cent higher.
Gold is trading at US$1,841 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.3 per cent lower at US$154.50.
Futures are suggesting a rise of 3.6 per cent.
Light crude is 32 cents higher at US$54.55..
One Australian dollar is buying 77.30 US cents.