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Aussie shares are attempting to arrest a five day slide for the ASX 200 as the local market is a touch firmer at lunch on Monday. The benchmark index is currently 20 points or 0.27% higher at 7,481, having been 32pts or 0.4% higher at its opening highs. Local improvements follow gains for US markets over the weekend, led by the tech heavy NASDAQ index.

The technology sector is also outperforming on the ASX 200. Materials are the other main support for the market while there are losses for consumer staples, industrials and communications.

Individually, Fortescue Metals (FMG) is a main drag on the market with a 2.8% fall. Telstra (TLS) is another weight with a 1.2% drop while TPG Telecom (TPG) is 6.4% weaker. To the upside, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is having the biggest impact with a 0.7% lift while BHP Group (BHP) is also firmer by 0.7%. Afterpay (APT) is advancing by 2.4%.

There has again been a mixed reaction to companies releasing profit results as we enter the last week of the reporting season.

Real estate company, McGrath (MEA) is 5% higher after announcing a 34% lift in revenue to $122 million while net profit rose to $19 million. The business was well supported by the resilient property market nationwide in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Property investment group Charter Hall (CHC) is also 5.5% higher on profit results.

Not faring as well is health insurer, NIB Holdings (NHF) which is slumping 10% as its FY21 profit numbers miss analyst and market expectations. NPAT came in at $160.5 million and underlying operating profit (UOP) was $204.5 million and at the low end of the company’s own guidance provided in April this year.

Ampol (ALD) is down 4.5% on its first half earnings. The energy company saw replacement cost profit of $ 204.5 million, a 70% jump from a year ago while revenue rose 22% to $9.82 billion. ALD also announced a proposed takeover of Z Energy (ZEL) which operates Gull petrol stations in NZ for NZ$2 billion.

Elsewhere G8 Education (GEM) is 6% lower on its FY21 profit results while Sonic Healthcare (SHL) is also 3% lower.

The AUD is now buying 71.6 US cents.

Published by CommSec