The Australian market is under pressure on Wednesday, with the ASX 200 index slipping by 0.8 per cent at lunch. Around half of these losses are due to significant falls from the four major banks, which are down as much as 1.75 per cent. Weakness from supermarket chain owner Wesfarmers (WES) and Woolworths (WOW) is also holding the market back.
Wesfarmers (WES) is down 1.2 per cent after deciding after a three month review to not spin-off its Officeworks business just yet. WES said it is not in the best interest of shareholders to do so at the moment.
Mining stocks are star performers for the second day, with Fortescue (FMG), Newcrest (NCM), Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP Billiton (BHP) the main contributors to the sector’s improvements.
Upmarket fashion retailer, Oroton (ORL) is down 22 per cent after cutting its profit forecast for FY17 due to sluggish sales in its key Mid-Season Sale in April, its factory outlets and losses from GAP. ORL now expects to make just $2m-$3m in 2017; a ~$10m slide on last year’s result.
Paint maker, DuluxGroup (DLX) is up 0.8 per cent after lifting its 1H profit by 14.2 per cent to $72.7m for the six months to March. Sales rose by 3.5 per cent and has lifted its dividend to 13c/share (a 13 per cent lift). The result was driven by its core Australia and New Zealand business which accounts for ~75 per cent of revenue.
Quintis (QIN) has requested to be suspended from the Australian sharemarket ahead of an important announcement. The sandalwood plantation company has lost 80 per cent of its value on the sharemarket this calendar year.
CYBG (CYB) is down 4.7 per cent after the UK based owner of Clydesdale Bank (which was spun-off by NAB more than a year ago) posted its HY profit results after market close on Tuesday.
Wage growth remains subdued according to the latest update. The wage price index rose by 0.5 per cent in the March quarter, to be up 1.9 per cent over the year and is just slightly ahead of underlying inflation.
A monthly survey of consumer confidence conducted around last week’s Budget shows sentiment is largely unchanged. An extra question was asked of survey participants: “What impact do you expect the Budget to have on your family finances over the next 12 months”. 50 per cent said finances would likely ‘stay the same’, 33 per cent said things would ‘worsen’, while only 7 per cent believe their financial situation would ‘improve’.
1.1bn shares have changed hands so far on Wednesday, worth $2.3bn. 403 stocks are up, 492 are flat and 388 are unchanged.
Originally published by CommSec