The Aussie market is making solid headway at lunch on Thursday with the ASX 200 lifting 44 points or 0.67% to 6704. This is despite the fact that US markets provided a mostly flat lead as investors continue to wait on more detail around US-China trade negotiations. Reports have emerged that any signing of a deal, originally scheduled for mid-November, could now be pushed back until December.
The local bourse has mostly disregarded those concerns with gains as it recoups all of yesterday’s losses. Improvements have been rather broad based and spread across most sectors. Financials, which have been the major weight over the past week on bank earnings, is doing much of the heavy lifting in the first few hours of trade.
National Bank (NAB) is leading the way with its share price up 2% on its FY19 earnings release. Australia’s third largest bank by market capitalisation announced a 10.6% slide in cash earnings of $5.1 billion. Its final dividend was also cut to $0.83/share. While the result was slightly weaker than market expectations, NAB shares have fallen 4.3% in the last 5 weeks, when it first announced it was expecting larger provisions for customer remediation and restructuring costs. Westpac (WBC) and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) are both also higher while ANZ Bank (ANZ) is mostly flat.
Accounting software firm, Xero (XRO) is also pushing higher by 6% on its half yearly earnings where operating revenue rose 32% to $338.7 million with a 30% jump in total subscribers to over 2 million. XRO also managed a net profit of $1.3 million after running a loss of $28.5 million last year. James Hardie (JHX) has also impressed ivnvestors with its earnings update. JHX shares have also risen 6% with a lift in revenue of 2% and net profit climbing 18%.
ZipCo (Z1P) are surging 16% after agreeing to a deal with Amazon Australia as its first Australian instalment payment option provider. But Flight Centre (FLT) is one of the worst performers, sliding 5% with the travel agency experiencing a difficult start to the new financial year, expecting profits and revenue margins down on the year before.
The Aussie dollar has lifted off session lows to 68.8 US cents following a larger than expected trade surplus in September of $7.18 billion. So far, 1.3b units have been traded worth $2.2b with 512 stocks higher 473 lower and 339 unchanged.
Published by CommSec