Telstra & Graincorp surges, NAB flat while AGL dives, Rio Tinto ex-div: ASX flat at noon

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

The Australian sharemarket had a jumpy start to the day staying within the positive territory, trading up to 0.3 per cent at its peak before hugging the flat line. Rio Tinto went ex-dividend today pressuring the index lower amid the backdrop of a busy earnings reporting day.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.02 per cent or 1 points higher at 7,586. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 3 points.

The push and pull were close to even across the sectors. Communication Services is the best performer so far while Technology made a comeback ignoring the U.S lead, up 2.3 per cent.

Consumer Staples and Consumer Discretionary stocks added over 0.7 per cent with slight gains in Industrials and Energy, up over 0.4 per cent thanks to a rise in oil prices after the White House called on OPEC and its allies to produce more oil.

Materials are fractionally lower by 0.1 per cent dragged down by Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) going ex-dividend today. Shares are trading 6.8 per cent lower after snapping its 4-day winning streak yesterday. Their payout is around 5.8 per cent of yesterday's share price.

Utilities is the worst performer down 1.3 per cent pulled lower by AGL (ASX:AGL) tumbling 4.2 per cent on news not well received by shareholders.
  
The nation’s largest power provider continues to battle the rise in renewable energy denting their financial 2021’s profits. The power supplier posted a $2.06 billion loss after posting a $1.01 billion profit the year prior.

Goodman (ASX:GMG) is down 2.2 per cent despite posting a surge in their statutory profit of 54 per cent to $2.31 billion from $1.50 billion last year with the help of industrial property values rising. The company gave a FY22 guidance of 72.2 cents a share, up 10 per cent from last year and a full year distribution of 30 cents a share which has fallen below expectations.

GrainCorp’s (ASX:GNC) share price has soared 15 per cent claiming the title of the best performer of the morning after it upgraded earnings and profit guidance for the FY21. The grains business said the heightened demand for Australian grain has bolstered an outstanding year for the agribusiness segment.

Local economic news

Melbourne Institute consumer inflation expectations for August fell at 3.3 per cent from 3.7 per cent in July.

Company news

Please join us for Stocks of the Hour here where we cover NAB's third quarter trading update along with headlines from Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA), Suncorp (ASX:SUN) and Westpac (ASX:WBC).

Australia’s largest telecom provider Telstra (ASX:TLS) have popped out a dividend despite their 11.6 per cent fall in total income to $23.1 billion for the financial year 2021, after categorizing the year as a “turning point” in its financial outlook.

The nation’s third largest bank National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) posted a third quarter net profit of $1.65 billion and cash earnings of $1.7 billion. Cash earnings jumped 10.3 per cent year-on-year thanks to improved credit impairment outcomes and growth across their lending book.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Communication Services, up 2 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Utilities, down 1.3 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is GrainCorp (ASX:GNC), trading 15 per cent higher at $6.29. It is followed by shares in QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) and Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Redbubble (ASX:RBL), trading 7 per cent lower at $3.30. It is followed by shares in Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and AGL Energy (ASX:AGL).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1750.00 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.9 per cent higher at US$165.48 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.63 US cents.

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