Local shares are fading from a better start, with the ASX 200 index up just 0.04 per cent at lunch. The market was up by as much as 0.5 per cent on the open following a positive lead from Wall Street last night. Trade has been choppy so far this week ahead of a likely US rate hike tomorrow morning and a key update on Australian jobs growth on Thursday.
Mining and energy stocks are standouts at lunch, rebounding from Tuesday’s heavy losses. While oil prices rose by more than 2 per cent the price of iron ore, gold and base metals fell back overnight.
Myer (MYR) is up 2.3 per cent despite handing down a $476.2m loss for the six months to January and a 3.6 per cent slide in sales to $1.7bn. The department store operator has decided to not pay investors a dividend. The result was held back most by over $500m in impairment/one-off costs. A bright spot was MYR lifting online sales by 48.9 per cent to $105.2m. The group is still looking for a CEO after the resignation of its boss last month.
Dually listed Synlait Milk (SM1) is up 16 per cent after almost quadrupling its profits to $40.7m for the six months to January 2018. The result was driven by increased demand for canned infant formula of which it is the exclusive manufacturer for Australia, NZ and China.
Nufarm (NUF) is up 5 per cent after the chemicals company flagged the likelihood of a solid second half despite posting a 40 per cent slide in first half earnings to $12m. NUF expects underlying profits to grow by 5-10 per cent over the year thanks to a positive performance in Australia, the US and Europe.
James Packer has resigned as a director of Crown Resorts (CWN) for personal reasons.
Rio Tinto (RIO) has agreed to sell its stake in Queensland coal assets for $1.7bn to Swiss-based Glencore. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.
Wesfarmers (WES) is down by 1 per cent at lunch. On Friday however its shares surged by 6.3 per cent after announcing its planned split from Coles.
1.7bn shares have changed hands today worth $1.6bn. 568 stocks are up, 495 down and 337 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec