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Aussie Market opens higher – Local shares are rebounding from three straight sessions of losses and shrugging off a mixed lead from Wall Street. The Dow closed 0.5% higher while the tech heavy Nasdaq closed a touch lower. The ASX 200 opened around 0.45% or 26pts higher but has come back to be 6pts or 0.1% higher towards lunch. Financials have been weighing on gains among the consumer staples, materials and telcos. The big four lenders are all weaker between 0.5% and 1% while major miners BHP and Rio Tinto (RIO) are both higher.
Wesfarmers (WES) to demerge Coles – Wesfarmers has today announced its intention to demerge its Coles division from the remainder of its business, which includes Kmart, Target, Bunnings, Officeworks and mining operations. WES came to the decision following a strategic review with future growth opportunities in mind. WES is most likely to retain a minority stake in Coles. While the demerger is expected to take place in FY19, it is still subject to shareholder & other approvals. WES share have jumped 6% on the announcement.
Metcash (MTS) announces senior management changes – Metcash, which operates IGA and several other hardware & liquor retail brands, has had differing fortunes with its share price sliding as much as 5.5% after it announced changes to its senior management. MTS has appointed a new CEO of its Supermarkets & Convenience division after the resignation of current CEO Steven Cain.
Premier Investments (PMV) half year results driven by performance in Smiggle – PMV has released its 1H18 results with the owner of fashion brands such as Portmans, Just Jeans and Peter Alexander lifting its total sales by 7% to $630.1 million over the half with like-for-like sales also lifting. Stationary brand Smiggle was the star performer with a 26% lift in sales and growth of 35 stores globally. Both NPAT and underlying EBIT jumped around 10% each as well. This has seen PMV’s share price up 6.8% so far.
Aussie dollar tumbles – No major economic data releases are scheduled for Australia, RBA Deputy Governor has given a speech on the current low interest rate environment saying ‘One might decide that interest rates are going to continue to remain lower for longer, but I struggle to see how one can hold that view with any great certainty.’ The Aussie dollar has fallen over 1% from yesterday to 77.8 US cents on a stronger greenback weighing on the local currency. 1.5 billion units have traded worth $1.8 billion with 564 stocks higher, 444 lower and 313 unchanged.
Published by CommSec