BHP drags, Origin post $2bn loss, Perpetual's profit pop, ASX trading 0.6% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

The Australian sharemarket has taken a dive at the open, hitting its head at the 0.9 per cent mark before looking for some direction in the sea of red as major miners took a tumble. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.59 per cent or 44 points lower at 7,458. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 38 points. The local bourse is trading lower for its fourth day.

A slew of earnings results that broke before market open gave investors a somewhat head-start to navigate how to move following Wall St’s choppy session. The major indexes saw an accelerated sell-off towards their closing bell finishing at session lows as investors digested the minutes from the Federal Reserve meeting in July amid the dampened sentiment around the political turmoil in Afghanistan.

Like here in the Aussie market, major benchmarks globally have been seeing volatile trade as the highly infectious delta variant continues to run rampant impacting supply chains, causing extended lockdowns and impacting consumer confidence.

Miners slide as iron ore price tumbles, Materials worst performing sector

Iron ore price tumbled 4.6 per cent following China’s proposed rein in on steel output which saw BHP (ASX:BHP) slide over 7 per cent at $44.34, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has fallen over 5.1 per cent at $407.87 while Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is down 5.2 per cent at $20.34. Not to mention, mining giant BHP’s merger deal with Woodside (ASX:WPL) which saw BHP’s share price fall sharply by 7 per cent yesterday. This has clocked Materials as the worst performing sector so far, down 3.9 per cent.

Energy is coming second, down 2.1 per cent as oil prices continue to decline. Woodside (ASX:WPL) is trading lower at 2.4 per cent at $19.80, Santos (ASX:STO) is down by 2.4 per cent at $$6.05 while the biggest fall is from Ampol (ASX:ALD) trading lower by over 3 per cent at $27.19.

Property, Utilities and Consumer Staples are the only other sectors in the red.

Redbubble & Star City surges pushing Consumer Discretionary to #1

Consumer discretionary is trading 1.2 per cent higher thanks to Redbubble (ASX:RBL) and Star City (ASX:SGR) rising over 7 per cent. The online marketplace reported a 58 per cent jump to their FY21 revenue and a whopping 930 per cent surge in EBITDA at $52.7 million while the casino giant reported a 3.9 per cent revenue rise to $1.55 billion and a normalised NPAT of $116 million, down 5 per cent from the year prior. Both companies didn’t declare a final dividend.

Healthcare is second best performer, up 1.1 per cent with biotech CSL (ASX:CSL) is back in the black after their 1.5 per cent dip. They are currently trading 1.76 per cent higher at $298.72 clawing back their losses from yesterday after the company forecasted a lower profit for FY22. The rebound in the share price followed Biden’s announcement that a booster shot is on the cards for adults who had the Pfizer or Moderna jabs to receive a booster shot eight months after their second shot.

Flight and travel stocks mixed as NSW reports 681 new Covid-19 cases

On the Covid-19 front, NSW reports 681 new local cases. Stay at home orders for regional NSW have been extended until 28 August. Meanwhile Victoria has reported 57 new locally acquired cases while ACT reported 16 new cases. Flight and travel stocks are mixed today. Flight Centre just hanging on their gains at 0.5 per cent while Qantas is down slightly by 0.8 per cent.

Local economic news

Last month, June’s jobless rate fell to its lowest level since December 2010 as another 29,100 joined the workforce.

Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported the jobless rate dropped by 0.3 percentage points to 4.6 per cent in July.

There were 2,200 new jobs added into the economy with the participation rate, lower by 0.2 percentage points. Hours worked fell by 0.2 per cent from last month while the underemployment rate increased by 0.4 percentage points to 8.3 per cent.

Company news

Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) dived to a loss of $2.29 billion for their full-year as the rise in clean energy smashed prices across the business amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Investment manager Perpetual (ASX:PPT) recorded a 31 per cent surge in revenue to $640.6 million for the financial year 2021, underpinned by solid inflows from ESG-focused Trillium and Barrow Hanley.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, up 1.1 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Materials, down 3.4 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH), trading 14.1 per cent higher at $1.90. It is followed by shares in Chorus (ASX:CNU) and Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), trading 7.6 per cent lower at $51.73. It is followed by shares in BHP Group (ASX:BHP) and Deterra (ASX:DRR).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1782.37 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.6 per cent lower at US$153.39 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 5.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.15 US cents.

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