The Aussie sharemarket extended its gains to a third straight session, with the ASX 200 up by 22.3pts or 0.31 per cent, to 7127.7. The Health Care sector fell most today, losing 0.8 per cent, in part due to a 1.3 per cent decline in the share price of CSL. Stocks in the Consumer Discretionary (+1.4 per cent) and Staples (+1.7 per cent) sectors posted gains. The Energy sector however, shed 0.6 per cent after oil hit a 6 month low in overnight trade.
CSL Limited (CSL) released its annual report today and fell 1.3 per cent. It outlined a 2 per cent increase in its sales to US$10.1 billion, but a 5 per cent decline in its profits to US$2.25 billion. CSL also declared a US1.18 per share final divided (flat over the year). The healthcare company noted an improvement in its performance over the second-half of its fiscal year.
Super Retail Group (SUL) lowered its final dividend by 22 per cent to 43 cents-per-share, and recorded declines across its gross profit and net profit margins, as outlined in its annual report today. The retailer did however say that a ‘strong second half performance’ helped drive a 2.8 per cent increase in its total sales, to $3.55 billion. SUL shares closed 4.7 per cent higher.
Santos (STO) shares fell for a third straight day, losing another 2.4 per cent today. The oil producer released its half-year report this morning, outlining a 300 per cent lift in its profits, to US$1.3 billion. This was supported by a 67 per cent climb in its average realised crude oil price. STO however noted a 5 per cent increase in its unit production costs, to US$8.16 per barrel of oil.
Magellan Financial Group (MFG) released its annual results today, outlining a 23 per cent fall in its revenues, but a 44 per cent improvement in its profits. It also lowered its final dividend by 37
per cent, to 65 cents-per-share. MFG shares slipped 5.9 per cent.
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Redbubble (RBL) fell 31.4 per cent after releasing its annual results. It posted a net loss of $24.6 million, in comparison to a net profit of $31.2 million a year earlier.
Commonwealth Bank (CBA) shares shed 1.8 per cent as it traded ex-dividend today. Its $2.10 per share final dividend will be payable to eligible shareholders on September 29.
In economic news, annualised inflation in the UK reached a fresh 40-year high of 10.1 per cent (survey: 9.8 per cent). The Reserve Bank of New Zealand also raised its interest rate by 50 basis
points, to 3 per cent. In Australia, annual wages lifted by 2.63 per cent (survey: 2.7), the strongest growth rate in over eight years.
4.2bn shares were traded, worth $7.2bn. 645 stocks rose, 756 fell & 397 finished unchanged.
Ahead in the US, minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting will be released along with retail sales data.
Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author), CommSec