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Aussie shares are off to a flat start, with the ASX 200 remaining below 6250pts despite US stocks hitting record highs, firmer commodity prices and greater political certainty in Canberra.
The banks are remaining a weight on equities, with the big four down by as much as 0.5 per cent. This follows losses in the order of 5 per cent for the financials last week which drove the Aussie market to its worst weekly performance in five months.
Commodity prices including oil, iron ore, gold and copper rose approximately 1.5 per cent thanks to a softer greenback. The market reacted to a speech from Fed chair Jerome Powell who suggested rates will only lift gradually as long as the US economy continues to improve. Despite BHP Billiton (BHP), Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue (FMG) being up as much as 0.7 per cent today the sector has fallen for the past four weeks.
The earnings season winds down this week however a number of big names will still post results. Caltex, Virgin Australia, Boral, Ramsay and Harvey Norman are included.
Adairs (ADH) is up 4.6 per cent after the bedding retailer handed down a strong lift in profits and its dividend. ADH generated $42m in sales online which is a 75 per cent lift on last year.
G8 Education (GEM) is down 13 per cent after the operator of around 500 childcare centres delivered a 22 per cent slide in first half profit to $23.7m. This was mainly due to a $10m lift in wages following regulatory changes to staffing ratios.
Reliance Worldwide (RWC) is down 10 per cent with the plumbing company posting flat earnings of $66m for FY18.
Cash Converters (CCV) is down 1.5 per cent. Annual profits rose by 9.1 per cent to $22.5m thanks to a 50 per cent lift in loans on its books to $172m. This was mainly driven by cash advances and personal loans.
Amaysim (AYS) is down 2 per cent with profit down almost 20 per cent to $12.8m following a lift in costs associated with acquisitions.
With the earnings season coming to an end, many companies will start trading ex-dividend. Coca-Cola (CCL) and Primary Health (PRY) are both down 1.5 – 2 per cent as they trade ex-dividend today. Santos (STO), Newcrest (NCM), Lend Lease (LLC), Telstra (TLS) and Fortescue (FMG) will all trade ex-dividend this week.
No market moving data will be released today, however the highlight this week will be business investment data on Thursday.
1.2bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $2bn. 560 stocks are up, 478 down and 382 are unchanged on Monday.
Published by CommSec