Aussie shares have faded from a better start, with the ASX 200 down 0.6 per cent to 7054 and putting an end to a three-day winning streak. The local market hit a 14 ½ month high on Wednesday, and remains within 2 per cent of a record high.
Mining stocks are among the only improvers, with iron ore prices lifting by 1.6 per cent and closing in on last week’s record highs. BHP, Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue (FMG) are the main contributors to the market on Thursday.
Travel stocks are coming under pressure for a second day as the uncertainty with Sydney’s coronavirus situation continues. Two locally acquired cases have been identified over the past couple of days. The source of infection remains a mystery. Traces of COVID19 have also be found in Sydney’s inner west wastewater. Flight Centre (FLT) and Webjet (WEB) are both down by more than 5 per cent, Corporate Travel Management (CTD) is down 4 per cent, Qantas (QAN) is 2.5 per cent lower and Sydney Airport (SYD) is slipping by 1.2 per cent.
National Australia Bank (NAB) is down 3.2 per cent after becoming the last of the big four to post half year results. Cash profit close to doubled to $3.34bn, helped partly by lower bad and doubtful debts and expenses. Its Net Interest Margin fell by 4bps to 60c per share. NAB has doubled its interim dividend to 60 cents per share and is scheduled to be paid out on 2 July.
Tech stocks are sliding for a fifth day, down by ~9 per cent since last Friday. Nearmap (NEA) is down by 15 per cent. The aerial mapping company’s US subsidiary in Utah received a complaint relating to an alleged patent infringement. NEA share shares rose by 14.5 per cent on Wednesday before entering a trading halt.
Adore Beauty (ABY) is down 14.5 per cent and released a trading update this morning. The online beauty products retailer’s revenue rose by 47 per cent to $39.4m over the past quarter, active customers at the end of the quarter rose by 69 per cent to 687,000. ABY also said it remains on track to achieve its full year revenue growth of 43-47 per cent year on year.
Scentre Group (SCG) reaffirmed its distribution (dividend) guidance, saying it expects to ‘distribute at least 14c per security for 2021’. It last paid a 7c per share final dividend in late February.
Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Guy Debelle is scheduled to deliver a speech in Perth later this evening. No major economic data is due today in Australia. Moderna, Fiverr International, Wayfair, Kellogg and Blue Apron are set to post quarterly earnings tonight. The Bank of England will hold its monthly meeting on interest rates this evening.
3bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $2.7bn. 664 stocks are up, 599 are down and 397 are flat.
Published by CommSec