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The Aussie market is giving back some of the recent gains made with the ASX 200 falling 68 points or 1.1% to 6,101 at lunch on Thursday. The index remains unable to overcome the 6,200 point barrier after getting within a few points yesterday afternoon. The last time it breached that mark was on March 6, before the market bottomed on March 23.

Losses have been led by the heavyweight financials, healthcare and materials sectors. The energy sector has fallen the most in percentage terms. Technology, consumer discretionary and real estate are the most improved.

Individually, CSL Ltd (CSL) is the largest drag with a 3.7% decline. The big four banks are all down roughly 1% with similar losses for the major miners BHP Group (BHP) and Fortescue Metals (FMG), even as the iron ore price hits fresh 6 year highs at US$128/t.

Afterpay (APT) is leading improvements with the BNPL provider providing an update after market close yesterday. APT lifted its FY20 EBITDA expectations to $44 million (previously $20-25m) with an improvement in net transaction losses and margins. Full FY20 profit results will be released next Thursday 27 August. APT shares have jumped 8% and hit a new all-time high earlier this morning.

It’s been another busy day on the reporting front. Qantas (QAN) is down 1.7% as the airline reported a net loss before tax of $2.7 billion and sharp drop in revenue due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions. Wesfarmers (WES) is flat after the conglomerate’s headline net profit slumped 69% to $1.7 billion mostly due to one-off items and costs associated with the Coles demerger. Underlying profit rose 8% with strong sales growth from Bunnings and Officeworks.

Other companies to report included Santos (STO) which is down 4.5%, Origin Energy (ORG) down 6% and South32 (S32) falling 1.6%. Winners include IDP Education (IEL) jumping 27%, Charter Hall (CHC) up 5.5%, Star Entertainment (SGR) up 2.8% and Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL) 3.3% higher.

The Aussie dollar has dropped to 71.7 US cents against the greenback. So far, 3.5b units have traded worth $4.1b with 524 stocks higher, 626 weaker and 378 unchanged.

Published by  CommSec