Local shares retreated in early trade on Tuesday, trading against the overnight trend on Wall Street overnight, where US indices advanced – albeit with modest gains. The general tone of markets overnight was constructive, reflecting optimism that the US and China may find a compromise to resolve their trade dispute, while investor concerns in relation to Turkey eased. The Dow Jones index rose by 89 points or 0.4%. The S&P 500 index rose by 0.2% and the Nasdaq rose by over 4 points or 0.1%.
Telecoms Information Technology and Industrials where the only sectors to hold their ground over the morning. By contrast, the Energy , Financials and Materials sectors posted losses in excess of 1%. In the period to lunch 1.1 billion shares traded, valued at $2.1 billion. 508 stocks rose over the morning, 547 fell and 389 were flat.
In general terms – banks were the main liability for the Index for a second day, with most of the big four lenders lower by at least 1%. Resource names were under pressure despite a recovery in commodity prices in the last day , in line with a moderation in the US dollar. Base metal prices were mostly higher on the London Metal Exchange (LME) overnight; for example Copper rebounded from three straight weekly declines as US-China trade tensions eased, with the industrial metal up 1.2%.
In company news, BHP Billiton (BHP) reported a FY18 NPAT of US$3.71 billion, a decline of 37% compared to last year’s result. In removing one off results, including a $650 million loss associated with the Sumarco dam disaster, underlying profit rose 33% to US$9.62 billion – which was ahead of consensus forecasts. BHP declared a final dividend of 63 cents per share.
Super Retail Group (SUL) shares were higher by 7% or 70 cents at $9.81 after highlighting continued momentum in the new financial year. Additionally, the retail conglomerate reported a normalised FY18 Net profit after tax (NPAT) of $145.3 million, marking an increase of 7%. Earnings before interest and tax rose 6% to $219.6 million, while total group sales rose 4.2% to $2.57 billion. SUL declared a final dividend of $0.275.
Bingo Industries (BIN) is in a trading halt after announcing the acquisition of Dial A Dump for $577.5 million, which will be funded through a $425 million entitlement offer. Prior to the announcement BIN reported a NPAT for the year of $38.0 million, an increase of $18.2 million, or 91.6% increase, on the pcp.
Oilsearch (OSH) shares were1% or 11 cents lower at $9.10 after reporting a 39% fall in 1H18 NPAT to US$79.2 million, reflecting disruptions associated with the PNG earthquake at the start of the year. Total production & sales fell by 31% over the period, balanced to a degree by the 34% increase in realised oil prices and an 18% increase in LNG prices. Despite higher prices, the lower production saw revenue decline 18% to US$557.8 million. OSH declared an interim dividend of US$0.02 per share.
Published by CommSec