Australia’s share market is down one per cent after some dour company earnings reports compounded a negative lead from US markets.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index had dropped 63.3 points, or 1.02 per cent, to 6104.3 points at 1200 AEST on Thursday.
The All Ordinaries index was lower by 57.8 points, or 0.91 per cent, at 6256.3.
The energy sector shed 3.57 per cent after major oil producers warned of a risk to recovery if the coronavirus crisis is prolonged.
Health shares dropped 2.07 per cent after CSL’s full-year profit won over investors on Wednesday.
However, there was no such catalyst for the ASX this morning.
Qantas reported an underlying profit before tax of $124 million for the 2019/20 financial year – a 90.6 per cent decline – compared to $1.33 billion the year before.
Its international flights are unlikely to restart amid the pandemic before July 2021, although a trans-Tasman route could start earlier.
Qantas shares were down 1.32 per cent to $3.71.
Also in the virus-routed travel sector, online bookings platform Webjet fell 11.14 per cent to $3.27.
It reported a full-year net loss of $143.6 million.
There will be no final dividend. There was a 2019 final dividend of $1.35, fully franked.
Wesfarmers reported a $1.69 billion net profit, down 69 per cent from $5.51 billion for 2019.
This was partly due to $461 million in impairments including the troubled Target brand, restructuring Kmart operations and costs in its industrial and safety business.
Shareholders will receive a final dividend of 77 cents, and a special dividend of 18 cents from the sales of the group’s stake in Coles. Both are fully franked.
This is lower than the 2019 final dividend of 78 cents, and special dividend of 100 cents.
Wesfarmers’ shares lost 0.49 per cent to $48.64.
Major banks and miners were lower.
ANZ Bank dropped 1.01 per cent to $18.49, the Commonwealth slipped 1.06 per cent to $70.28, NAB shed 1.39 per cent to $17.64 and Westpac lost 0.91 per cent to $17.24.
BHP declined by 0.92 per cent to $38.70, Rio Tinto lagged by 0.74 per cent to $100.91 and Fortescue was down by 1.7 per cent to $17.85.
Meanwhile, Afterpay has notched another record high, $82.0, after the buy-now-pay-later firm raised its annual core earnings forecast and said Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group had taken five per cent stake.
Shares had since eased to be 8.14 per cent higher to $81.0.
Wall Street finished lower overnight after the US Federal Reserve raised concerns that the nation’s economic recovery from the devastating effects of the pandemic faced a highly uncertain path.
The policy committee said that the rebound in employment in May and June had likely slowed and that substantial improvement in the labour market would hinge on a “broad and sustained” reopening of business activity.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 85.19 points lower, or 0.31 per cent, to 27,692.88, the S&P 500 lost 14.93 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 3,374.85 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 64.38 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 11,146.46.
The Australian dollar was buying 71.76 US cents at 1200 AEST, down from 72.49 US cents at Wednesday’s close.