ASX dips 0.5% after erasing 2-days of gains on big earnings moves

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

The Australian sharemarket erased its recent gains, snapping its three-day winning streak to close 0.5 per cent or 41 points lower at 7,491.

A slide in Utilities, Materials and Technology stocks weighed on the market while Communication Services closed higher. Consumer Discretionary just hung onto its gains, followed by Property which closed flat.

Big pendulum swings continued to be felt on a heavy earnings results day. Investors shovelled into Blackmores (ASX:BKL), with the vitamins company closing 15.4 per cent higher at $92 while on the other hand, shareholders took the exit for Appen (ASX:APX) diving 21.4 per cent at $10.86.

Across the major players, mining giants BHP (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) drilled lower while the four major banks transacted in the red.

Flight stocks took-off as investors shrugged off NSW clocking in 1,029 Covid-19 cases with Qantas (ASX:QAN) and Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) closing higher despite their poor full-year figures.

Tonight, investors will look to Wall St for the highly anticipated virtual meeting at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Central bankers and economists from around the world are set to attend as market participants look for any clues on when the Fed will look to taper off their asset purchases program.

Local economic news

New capital expenditure rose by 4.4 per cent for June quarter as per the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Buildings and structures rose by 4.6 per cent while equipment, plant and machinery rose by 4.3 per cent.

Between the weeks ending 17 and 31 July this year, payroll jobs dipped by 2.0 per cent and total wages paid fell by 2.7 per cent.

Company news

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The A2 Milk company's (ASX:A2M) outlook is in a “strategic review” following a year which saw the embattled infant milk company’s profit dive by over 79 per cent.

Qantas (ASX:QAN) appears optimistic to resume international flights with countries with high vaccine rates. The docket includes Singapore, Japan, the US, the UK and hopefully New Zealand. The airliner has crossed their fingers hoping that flights could resume from mid-December this year.

Woolworths (ASX:WOW) unveiled a $2 billion share buy-back and boosted their dividend thanks to a bumper year. The spin-off of their drinks business Endeavour (ASX:EDV) plus the surge in spending contributed to their stellar performance.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 19 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 24 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 45 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Communication Services, up 0.6 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Utilities, down 2.2 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Blackmores (ASX:BKL) closing 15.4 per cent higher at $92.09. It was followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Appen (ASX:APX) closing 21.4 per cent lower at $10.86. It was followed by shares in Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK) and The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.1 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 1.5 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 0.6 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1786.20 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.7 per cent higher at US$148.66 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.37 lower at US$67.99 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.58 US cents.

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