Tech shares tumble as Afterpay dives to 7-month low: ASX trading 0.4% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

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The Australia sharemarket has slipped 0.4 per cent following the US lead, as inflation figures rose to its highest since 2008. Buy now pay later, Afterpay (ASX:APT) dived 8.2 per cent to its seven month low while accounting platform provider Xero (ASX:XRO) tumbled 9.4 per cent despite its net profit growth results for its full year. Investors have sold down technology shares on concerns that rising inflation rates will see the RBA raise interest rates, eroding future profits. The worst performing stock was Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) plummeting more than 27 per cent as the mining services company soften their FY22 outlook while the best performing stock is GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) after its full year upgrade and the return of their dividend. On the banking front, NAB and Westpac are both down by over 2.3 per cent due to going ex-dividend while the mining heavyweights, BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals advanced on the back of the rising price of iron ore. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.41 per cent or 29 points lower at 7015.90.

Company news

Please join us for stocks of the hour here.

Cloud-based accounting platform Xero (ASX:XRO) has reported its net profit grew by almost 6 times to $18.4 million, according to the company’s FY21 results.

Medical imaging specialist Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) has inked a $14 million deal with The University of Vermont Health Network Inc (UVM) through the company’s subsidiary Visage Imaging.

Explosives systems company Orica (ASX:ORI) reports a 54 per cent drop in their half-year net profit to $77 million when compared to the same time last year.

GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) has upgraded its full year guidance following its strong half year results reinstating its interim dividend, due to a rebound in growing conditions on Australia’s east coast following the drought last year and a boost in global demand.

Australia’s largest telecommunications company Telstra (ASX:TLS) has been slapped with a $50 million fine for misleading conduct in sales activities with aboriginal customers and untimely response to remediate these shortcomings.

Broker moves

Macquarie rates Regis Healthcare (ASX:REG) as an outperform with a target price of $2.95. The upgrade from neutral was following the company’s income changes in line with the broker’s previous analysis. Macquarie also notes that since the additional funding announced by the Australian government due to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the broker has updated its forecasts as they believe it will lead to better cash flows. Led by an improved funding outlook, the target price has risen from $2.10 to $2.95. Shares in Regis Healthcare (ASX:REG) are trading 3.18 per cent lower at $2.13.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Health Care, up 1.07 per cent while the worst-performing sector is Information Technology down 3.39 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) trading 7.56 per cent higher at $5.55 followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and AusNet Services (ASX:AST).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) trading 27.95 per cent lower at $0.70 followed by shares in Xero (ASX:XRO) and Afterpay (ASX:APT).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1821.75 an ounce.
Iron ore is 3.00 per cent higher at US$237.57 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.30 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.39 US cents.