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The Aussie market has been unable to add to Wednesday’s improvements with a small decline around
lunch. The ASX 200 is edging lower by 10 points or 0.15% to 6,846 having swung between small gains and losses throughout the opening few hours. A fairly mixed session on Wall Street overnight also provided a weak lead for local shares.

Materials and communications are leading the improvements while the majority of sectors decline.
Leading the losses are technology and industrials.

Many of the big movers on the market have released profit results this morning. One of the big winners is Newcrest Mining (NCM), climbing 5.7%. The gold miner saw its first half earnings beat market expectations on the back of strong gold prices and better than expected cash flows. First half profit roughly doubled to US$553 million while its interim dividend of US$0.15/share also doubled on a year ago. NCM is aiming to increase its dividend payout ratio from 10-30% to 30-60%.

Telstra (TLS) is 2.5% firmer having also released half year earnings. The telco did see total income drop 10% to $12 billion while reported earnings (EBITDA) also experienced double digit declines of 14.7% to $4.1 billion but still held its dividend steady at $0.08/share. TLS also announced it is looking to take full ownership of all its Australian retail store network. It currently operates 67 of a total 337 stores with the remaining operated by licensees.

One of the biggest decliners has been wealth manager AMP Limited (AMP), with its shares tumbling 9% following its FY20 results. Underlying net profit (NPAT) slumped 32.8% to $177 million but statutory NPAT returned to profit from a $2.5 billion loss in FY19. Assets Under Management (AUM) for both its Australian Wealth Management and AMP Capital divisions saw net outflows over the year. AMP also decided against paying a final dividend and a proposed takeover by US firm Ares Management has also been scrapped.

Other companies releasing profit results includes Transurban (TCL), AGL Energy (AGL), Downer EDI (DOW), ASX Ltd (ASX) and Magellan Financial (MFG).

Lastly, the AUD is buying 77.13 US cents.

Published by CommSec