The Aussie market is advancing for a second successive day with the ASX 200 up 59 points or 1% to 6,183 at lunch on Wednesday. Local shares received a mixed lead from Wall although both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ closed at record highs.
Locally, gains have been driven mainly by the improvements of the healthcare and technology sectors while financials, consumer discretionary and communications also provide support. Materials and consumer staples are falling most.
It has been one of the busiest days on the reporting front with a number of high profile companies releasing results.
ANZ Bank (ANZ) is up 3.2% on its Q3 update with cash profit from continuing operations at $1.49 billion. Net interest margins were trimmed to 1.59% from 1.69% over the first half and provisions came in at $500m. One of the positives was that ANZ decided to pay an interim dividend, which it had deferred at its HY release, of $0.25/share.
Biotech firm, CSL Ltd (CSL) is adding 7.7% and contributing ~30 points of the total 60 point gain on the ASX 200 index. CSL’s FY20 net profit rose 10% to US$2.1 billion while revenue lifted 7% to US$8.8 billion. There is also some optimism around CSL’s agreements to produce a COVID-19 vaccine if trials by the University of QLD or the Oxford University prove successful.
Elsewhere, logistics software firm Wisetech Global (WTC) is surging 28% on FY20 profits. Other big improvers have been Corporate Travel (CTD) and Vocus Group (VOC), both up 9%. Domino’s Pizza (DMP) is also 7% higher as sales, particularly online sales, jumped in 2H20 helping push revenue 32% higher while net profit improved 20%.
There are also some big decliners with Nearmap (NEA) tumbling 13% on a net loss of $36.7 million. The Reject Shop (TRS) is sliding 9.5% while another retailer Michael Hill (MHJ) is 7.5% softer. Infant formula maker a2 Milk Co. (A2M) is down 6% even on a big lift in revenue, profit and margins as China sales continue to rise. Gold miners Saracen (SAR) and Northern Star (NST) are also weaker despite strong FY20 profits on higher gold prices.
The Aussie dollar remains firmer against the US greenback, buying 72.42 US cents. So far, 3.2b units have traded worth $3.5b with 639 stocks higher, 505 weaker and 370 unchanged.
Published by CommSec