ASX resets record high after earnings showcase: Aus shares closed 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

The Australian sharemarket clinched onto its gains closing 0.1 per cent or 4 points higher at 7,588 at a record close for its sixth time in seven sessions, after a barrage of company earnings set the scene today.

The runway of earnings results continued to impress investors which helped underpin the losses as profit taking was seen among a few major players.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) fell 6.9 per cent at $120.26 after the mining giant went ex-dividend. Their payout is around 5.8 per cent of yesterday's share price with investors profit taking the difference amid the volatility with iron ore prices recently. The miner posted a record first-half profit, thanks to strong commodity prices.

Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) snapped its 6-day winning streak after hitting a record high this week after investors mulled on their $6 billion buy-back offer announced on Monday amid their 33.3 per cent boost on their last interim dividend.

Across the sectors, the winners and losers were almost head to head. Communication Services performed the best, up 2.3 per cent with Telstra (ASX:TLS) as a big contributor surging 3.6 per cent to close at $3.97. The telecom giant popped out a dividend despite their 11.6 per cent fall earnings for the financial year 2021.

Consumer Discretionary & Staples plus Industrials advanced over 0.6 per cent with gains in Materials and Energy. Utilities was the worst performer, down 1.7 per cent pressured lower by AGL (ASX:AGL) diving 5.5 per cent at $7.18 after posting a $2.1 billion loss for the FY21 underpinned by the rising battle in renewable energy.

Technology fell 1.3 per cent with Appen (ASX:APN) pushing down the sector with a 4.9 per cent fall at $11.73 with Xero (ASX:XRO) not far behind. All other sectors closed lower.

Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) closed 2.2 per cent lower at $22.64 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 (ASX:GNC) closed 11.7 per cent higher at $6.11 after soaring as high as 15 per cent intraday. The grains company claimed the title of the best performer of the day after they upgraded earnings and profit guidance for the FY21. The company said the heightened demand for Australian grain has bolstered an outstanding year for the agribusiness segment.

AMP (ASX:AMP) jumped 3.2 per cent higher at $1.12 despite cutting its dividend after the Board said they will look at it again when they are confident to say that their strategies and demerger plans have finalized.

Redbubble (ASX:RBL) took home the title of the worst performer, down 7.9 per cent at $3.27 on no major news aside from making investors aware today that they are set to post full year results this time next week, though they could have taken a lead from U.S rival Amazon after the e-comm giant closed in the red on the Nasdaq.

Tonight, investors look to Wall St for further inflation figures and bet on any potential moves from the Fed. This time it is the U.S producer prices for July after the U.S. consumer price index rose 0.5 per cent at a slower pace compared then June. Also their weekly jobless claims report is slated with investors looking for signs of recovery in the labour market. Elsewhere big names like Doordash, AirBnB and Walt Disney are set to post earnings. Eyes will be on Disney+ subscriber's growth with the streaming space in focus.

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) and part two here.

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.

QBE’s (ASX:QBE) profit has bounced back from a loss in the first half of the year, with a 175 per cent boost to their interim dividend from a year ago thanks to a material turnaround in both underwriting and investment returns.

The nation’s largest power supplier AGL (ASX:AGL) continued to battle the rise in renewable energy denting their financial 2021’s profits. The power supplier posted a $2.1 billion loss after posting a $1.0 billion profit the year prior with their revenue tumbling 10 per cent at $10.9 billion.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 7 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 2 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 24 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 2 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Communication Services, up 2.3 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Utilities, down 1.7 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was GrainCorp (ASX:GNC), closing 11.7 per cent higher at $6.11 followed by shares in QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) and Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Redbubble (ASX:RBL), closing 7.9 per cent lower at $3.27 followed by shares in Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and AGL Energy (ASX:AGL).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 0.5 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1751.33 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 1.8 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.11 lower at US$68.91 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.63 US cents.

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