The Aussie market has snapped a five-day losing streak, with the ASX 200 lifting by a modest 0.16 per cent or 10pts to 6488. While almost all sectors are improving at lunch, the gains barely put a dent in the losses recorded in recent days as investors focus on the US-China trade dispute.
Over the prior five days the Aussie market slumped by around 5.3 per cent while Tuesday’s 2.44 per cent fall was the worst tumble of the year. While the escalating US-China trade war has been driving markets lower over the past week, there were some encouraging signs over the past 24 hours from both nations. China moved to stabilise its currency while reports suggest President Trump is still planning to host a Chinese trade delegation in September. Markets remain sensitive to developments in the relationship.
Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is down 1.4 per cent after posting a 4.74 per cent fall in annual cash profit to $8.49bn. It was impacted by higher remediation costs, more investment in risk and compliance and changes to fees. The biggest company on the ASX has kept its dividend steady at $2.31 per share while the closely watched Net Interest Margin fell by 5bps over the year to 2.1 per cent.
Toll road operator, Transurban (TCL) has entered a trading halt as it raises $700m from shareholders to help the company buy the rest of the M5 Motorway in Sydney.
Gold companies are standing out on Wednesday thanks to another lift in the price of the precious metal and cautious investors.
Queensland based insurer Suncorp (SUN) is up 4.5 per cent after reporting a slight improvement to its full year cash profit to $1.12bn which was in-line with Bloomberg consensus.
Opthea (OPT) is surging by 130 per cent after announcing positive Phase 2b test results for an eye disease treatment.
Lynas (LYC) is up 2.5 per cent. In a statement this morning it acknowledged recent media speculation about the renewal of the Malaysian operating licence while warning investors to not rely on media speculation. At the same time the rare earth minerals miner flagged an announcement on a potential deal in mid-August.
Iron ore miners Rio Tinto (RIO), Fortescue (FMG) and BHP are all done as the price of the precious metal took another hit in overnight trade.
1.5bn shares have changed hands so far today worth an above average $3.4bn. 697 stocks are up, 382 down and 323 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec