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The Australian sharemarket is down sharply on Monday, with the ASX 200 slipping by ~0.9 per cent to 6,072.8, led lower by banks and financials. Keep in mind that this follows a ~2 per cent lift for the local market last week (best week since early July) and the index getting to within 0.3 per cent of a five-month high last Tuesday. The ASX 200 continues to struggle breaching 6,200pts. In fact over the past two months, the index has failed to crack the resistance level on three occasions.

There are losses across the board today, with the major banks some of the hardest hit. Australia’s fifth largest retail bank, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank (BEN) has released its FY20 results. Cash earnings slumped by 27.4 per cent to $301.7m, total lending rose by 5.1 per cent and total deposits jumped by 5.7 per cent. Its Net Interest Margin (NIM) slipped by 3bps to 2.33 per cent. BEN has deferred its dividend decision. (KGN) is down by 4 per cent after releasing its FY20 numbers. The online retailer now has over 2.1 million active customers (a lift of ~574,000 on last year). Gross sales rose by 39.3 per cent to $768.9m over the past 12 months, while net profit surged by 55.9 per cent to $26.8m. Its final dividend of 13.5c is a 64.6 per cent lift on last year. It has not provided specific guidance for FY21. KGN shares have surged by 172 per cent so far this calendar year.

JB Hi-Fi (JBH) is up 5.2 per cent. Its stronger FY20 result was well received by the market, with sales, profits and its dividend all lifting. The result was driven by more people working and being entertained at home due to COVID-19. Demand for TVs, monitors, computers, audio equipment and home appliances surged. Group sales rose by 11.6 per cent to $7.9bn ($600m in online sales). Statutory NPAT jumped by 21 per cent to $302m. It declared a 91c final dividend (compared to 51c dividend this time last year).

The profit reporting season ramps up this week (busiest week of the season so far). Qantas (QAN), Wisetech (WTC), TPG, Invocare (TVC), Crown (CWN), CSL Limited (CSL) and A2 Milk (A2M) will be among the group of companies out with results over the next five days. Westpac (WBC) and ANZ will both post quarterly results on Tuesday and Wednesday. CBA, Computershare (CPU), ResMed (RMD) and QBE will be among the companies set to trade ex-dividend this week. This is the key date that determines dividend eligibility.

On the coronavirus front, Victoria recorded 282 new cases while just seven were identified in NSW.

2.6bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.7bn. 608 stocks are higher, 547 are lower and 371 are losing ground.

Published by CommSec