The local sharemarket is edging higher at lunch on Tuesday with the ASX 200 lifting 13 points or 0.2% to 7042. The benchmark index has faded from its opening highs where it was up 31 points or 0.44% at its best this morning.
The resources sectors are bouncing back from losses yesterday and are leading improvements in the opening few hours of trade, both the materials and energy sectors are rising 1.6%. Communications and consumer staples are also lifting while technology is falling most, down 1.2% and following the weakness in US tech names, with financials and healthcare also weighing.
The major banks are mostly pulling back after Monday’s improvements on the back of Westpac’s (WBC) first half profit beat. ANZ Bank (ANZ) is due to release tomorrow followed by National Bank (NAB) on Thursday. All three are in the red with WBC leading the losses, down 1.4%. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is trading 0.2% higher.
In company news, Seek Ltd (SEK) has completed the sale of a stake in Chinese online recruitment provider, Zhaopin for a total of $697 million, of which ~$500 million was received in April this year. SEK has decided to pay investors a 20 cents per share (cps) dividend as a result and also upgraded FY21 guidance driven by better March results. SEK shares are 3.7% higher.
Super Retail Group (SUL) is 1% higher on a sales update. For the first 44 weeks (roughly 10 months) of FY21, sales growth for the group was 28% higher on a year ago. Growth was strongest for camping division, BCF, which saw sales surge 59% on the same time in FY20. Rebel Sport and Supercheap Auto had sales growth of 20% and 21% respectively while Macpac sales rose 17%.
Flight Centre (FLT) is down 3.7% even as the company continues to lift turnover and revenue in March, while expecting further growth in April. FLT is still expecting to return to profitability (profit before tax) in FY22 on a monthto-month basis as 2H21 underlying losses are expected to be broadly in line with 1H21.
The Aussie dollar is a touch weaker, buying 77.43 US cents ahead of the Reserve Bank’s May meeting today where it is expected to keep rates on hold at 0.1% later this afternoon (2.30pm AEST).
Published by CommSec