ASX up 0.7% at noon as more earnings are released

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.69 per cent higher at 7,170.90, primarily driven by positive earnings results from Woolworths (ASX:WOW) and Domino's Pizza (ASX:DMP).

Woolworths, the supermarket chain, saw its shares rise by 4.7% as it reported a 4.6% increase in annual profits, reaching $1.62 billion. Domino's Pizza followed as the second-strongest performer, with a 7.25% surge in its shares after announcing job cuts. However, the company's net profit dropped by 74%, leading to a reduction in its final dividend to 42.6¢ per share from 68.1¢.

On the other hand, the technology sector faced losses, declining by 4.9%, mainly due to a substantial 19% decrease in WiseTech (ASX:WTC) shares. WiseTech, a global logistics software company, was the main contributor to the sector's decline and was poised to mark its largest daily loss in three years due to earnings falling short of consensus expectations.

Non-bank lender Pepper Money (ASX:PPM) had a challenging day, experiencing a sharp 12.9% drop in its shares. This drop was attributed to a significant reduction in its interim dividend by a third and a substantial decline in profit.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 40 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Consumer Staples, up 2.82 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 5.26 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is IDP Education (ASX:IEL), trading 9.62 per cent higher at $25.53. It is followed by shares in EBOS Group (ASX:EBO) and Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW).

The worst-performing large cap is WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC), trading 19.29 per cent lower at $69.89. It is followed by shares in ResMed (ASX:RMD) and Reece (ASX:REH).

Asian markets

Asia-Pacific markets are mixed on Wednesday as investors assess private business activity surveys from Australia and Japan, as well as inflation figures from Singapore.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 also was in positive territory as it climbed 0.21%, while the Topix gained 0.18%. The country saw a faster expansion in its business activity, with its flash PMI for August at 54.3 compared to July’s 53.8.

However, South Korea’s Kospi fell marginally, and the Kosdaq dropped 0.55%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index hovered just below the flatline, while mainland Chinese markets were also in negative territory, with the benchmark CSI 300 index down 0.36%.

Company news

Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) reports important progress towards DFS completion in December for flagship Kachi Project in Argentina. The drilling, successful extraction and reinjection testing confirm the large scale and quality of the Brine Project. Lake CEO David Dickson said, “We have drilled deeper for better grades and improved our drilling performance by 40 percent this year.” Shares are trading 7.5 per cent higher at 25.3 cents.

4DS Memory (ASX:4DS) has successfully completed the analysis of the Fourth Platform Lot and the results obtained are significantly better than the Board and management team at 4DS were expecting. Chief Technology Officer Mr Ting Yen stated, “These significant and robust results validate 4DS’ optimization strategy and the decision to establish a duplicate of imec’s custom testing hardware and software for the megabit array at the 4DS Fremont facility.” Shares are trading 97 per cent higher at 13 cents.

Raiden Resources (ASX:RDN) defines 30 metre wide outcropping pegmatites at their Andover South project. In response, Mr Dusko Ljubojevic, Managing Director of Raiden commented: “multiple swarms of pegmatites are being noted throughout the license area with further areas to be mapped and sampled.” Shares are trading 37.5 per cent higher at 1.6 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1929.50 an ounce.

Iron ore is 2.7 per cent higher at US$113.30 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 4.82 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 64.50 US cents. 

Peter Milios

Peter Milios is a recent graduate from the University of Technology - majoring in Finance and Accounting. Peter is currently working under equity research analyst Di Brookman for Corporate Connect Research.

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