ASX recovers, Appen sinks again: Aus shares flat at midday

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket has clawed back its losses from the open and is trading flat at 7,484. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 4 points.

Investors are digesting another day of earnings results albeit on a quieter schedule as they wait for the virtual meeting where Fed Chair Jerome Powell is set to make a speech at the Jackson Hole symposium. Central bankers around the world are expected to meet and uncover clues on when the central bank will look to taper their asset purchases program.

Meanwhile, across the sectors there are five losers versus six winners. Consumer discretionary and technology stocks are dragging the index lower while healthcare, industrials and utilities are attempting to offset them. 

Heavyweight miners have recovered from yesterday's session with Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) leading out of the pack, up 0.7 per cent while on the banking front, there is a mixed flavour. NAB (ASX:NAB) are up 0.5 per cent while Westpac (ASX:WBC) is down 0.8 per cent.

Retail giant Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) surprised investors with a $2.3 billion return of capital after a bumper year after they posted a 16 per cent jump in profit. Meanwhile, Appen (ASX:APX) is plummeting for their second day by over 7 cent while Afterpay (ASX:APT) and Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) are down by over 1.3 per cent. 

Local economic news

Australian retail turnover fell 2.7 per cent in July 2021, seasonally adjusted, according to the retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This was the largest monthly fall this year and follows a fall of 1.8 per cent in June 2021, after a rise of 0.4 per cent in May 2021.

Company news

Integral Diagnostics (ASX: IDX) reported revenue of $350.9 million for the year ending 30 Jun 2021, up 27.2 per cent from the prior year.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Health Care, up 0.8 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, down 1.7 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV), trading 13.8 per cent higher at $33.26. It is followed by shares in Blackmores (ASX:BKL) and (ASX:KGN).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Appen (ASX:APX), trading 7.7 per cent lower at $10.03. It is followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1795.83 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.9 per cent higher at US$152.92 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.36 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.35 US cents.

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