Local shares are weaker at lunch on Monday and on track to snap a four session winning streak last week. The ASX 200 is 15 points or 0.2% lower at 7115 with financials the major drag on the broader market. Communications and retail stocks are the other weights on the top 200 index. While energy, IT and property trusts are making the most significant gains at lunch.
The big four banks in particular have negatively impacted the broader market with the National Bank (NAB) down 0.9% and the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) easing 1.6%. Both saw big gains last week on trading updates. Meanwhile, Adelaide & Bendigo (BEN) is in a trading halt as it looks to raise $300 million via a capital raising. The regional bank also cut its interim dividend to $0.31/share after first half statutory net profit tumbled 28% to $145.8 million, impacted by impairments and higher costs, but cash earnings only fell 2% to $215.4 million.
QBE Insurance (QBE) also released profit numbers today with statutory profit for the full year 2019 jumping 41% to US$550 million. Revenue and Gross Written Premiums (GWP) both fell as well as the final dividend which was trimmed by 1c on 2H18. QBE shares are still 2% higher.
Pallets business, Brambles (BXB) is climbing 4.2% even with a fall in in its interim dividend and first half net profit. Still, numbers for its continuing business were solid which has led to an improved outlook and guidance for FY20. Gold miners, Regis Resources (RRL) and Saracen Minerals (SAR) have both seen healthy gains of 5.1% and 3.8% respectively on profit releases.
This week will be the busiest for the February reporting season with BHP Group (BHP), Coles (COL), Wesfarmers (WES), Fortescue (FMG), Qantas (QAN) and Santos (STO) just a handful of big name companies releasing profit results later in the week.
Elsewhere, Caltex (CTX) shares are 3.6% higher after receiving an upgraded takeover bid from a Canadian multinational.
The Aussie dollar is little changed against the greenback, buying 67.2 US cents. Local wages (Wed) and jobs (Thurs) data will likely be key gauges for the AUD this week. So far, 1.1b units have traded worth $1.8b with 531 stocks higher, 514 lower and 330 unchanged.
Published by CommSechttps://www.commsec.com.au/