The Aussie market is rising to fresh highs with the ASX 200 lifting above 7,600 for the first time ever on Wednesday. The index is 39 points or 0.5% higher at 7,603 around midday. Local gains follow what was a mixed session in the US overnight where the Dow Jones and S&P 500 hit record highs.
Sector wise, financials and materials are contributing most to broader market moves while energy and utilities also provide support. Information technology and communications are among the laggards while healthcare is also weaker.
In company news, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has also hit all-time highs of $109.03 following the release of its full year profit results. Cash profit rose 19% to $8.65 billion while the bank bottom line was aided by a 78% drop in loan impairment expenses to $554 million. CBA declared a final dividend of $2 per share and also announced an off-market share buyback of up to $6 billion. CBA is up 1.3%.
Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is down 2.5% after reporting a FY21 net loss of $427 million from a net profit of $435 million a year ago. The business was impacted by a $1.15 billion business interruption charge from the first half. Gross Written Premiums (GWP) lifted 3.8% to $12.6 billion.
Mineral Resources (MIN) is 0.2% weaker despite a strong lift in FY21 revenue to $3.7 billion for the mining services firm. Underlying earnings and net profit both surged 148% and 230% with a final dividend of $1.75 per share declared.
Computershare (CPU) is 1.2% higher after it released profit results after market yesterday. Net profit for the share registry and mortgages services firm fell 19% to $189 million even as revenue was roughly flat at $2.28 billion for FY21. CPU will pay a final dividend of 23 cents per share and is expecting earnings growth in FY22.
In other news, financial software provider, Iress (IRE) has received a renewed takeover offer from EQT Funds Management of $15.91 per share with the new proposal equating to an equity value of $3.1 billion. IRE remains in talks with EQT with no deal confirmed as yet.
On the economic front, August monthly consumer confidence fell 4.4% weighed by the delta variant related lockdowns. The Aussie dollar is a touch softer buying 73.43 US cents.
Published by CommSec