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Aussie shares are slipping for the first time in three days and easing from Thursday’s record highs, with the ASX 200 down by 15pts or 0.2 per cent to 7,149.1. Despite the losses, the local market is still up by around 7 per cent this calendar year in spite of the coronavirus concerns.

Most of the meaty stuff is now behind us this week. It has not only been the busiest week of the year for half year profit results but data on jobs and wages have made a rate cut in coming months a little more likely.

The best improvers today include Shaver Shop (SSG), which is up 15 per cent thanks to a record first half result. Over 1H20, sales rose by 12.3 per cent to $107m (both online and across its 122 bricks and mortar stores), while profit jumped by 16.3 per cent. Online sales rose by 61 per cent and now account for 17.5 per cent of Group earnings.

Lithium miners are also standing out despite net losses from both Orocobre (ORE) and Galaxy Resources (GXY). Lithium prices have approximately halved over the past year due to an oversupply of the commodity, which has led both producers to losses. However, the world’s largest lithium miner, Albemarle rose by 6 per cent last night after saying it expects lithium demand to surge by 21 per cent each year through to 2020. A lift in electric car sales is part of the reason (batteries use lithium).

Adairs (ADH) is up 5.4 per cent after the bedding retailer announced record sales and profits. First half revenue jumped by 9.7 per cent to $180.7m while underlying earnings rose by 4.2 per cent to $15.77m.

Ardent Leisure (ALG), Mayne Pharma (MYX), Village Roadshow (VRL) and IMF Bentham (IMF) have fallen
following the release of their earnings.

2bn shares have changed hands today worth a significant $3.8bn. 492 stocks are up, 535 are down and 365 are unchanged.

The profit reporting season will continue next week with Blackmores (BKL), Woolworths (WOW), Flight Centre (FLT) and Rio Tinto (RIO) just some of the companies set to post results. Telstra (TLS), Wesfarmers (WES), Woodside (WPL), AGL and Coles (COL) will all trade ex-dividend and data on China’s manufacturing sector will receive attention as it could highlight the impact of the coronavirus on its economy.

Published by CommSec