SYDNEY, AAP – The Commonwealth Bank’s solid third-quarter performance has not prevented losses of about one per cent or more for the share market’s biggest categories.
Australia’s largest bank said cash profit from continuing operations rose to $2.4 billion in the third quarter of this financial year.
Measured against the average outcome for the first two quarters of the year, the latest result was 24 per cent higher.
Shares were down 0.51 per cent to $94.09 but they fared better than financial shares overall, which lost 1.33 per cent.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 73.4 points, or 1.03 per cent, to 7023.6 at 1200 AEST.
The All Ordinaries was down 67.2 points, or 0.91 per cent, to 7264.4 points.
Utilities shares had the biggest losses, 2.4 per cent.
Energy shares were down 1.9 per cent and there were losses of more than one per cent for property and industrials.
The only shares higher were those in information technology, up 1.87 per cent.
There was plenty of selling in the US and Europe overnight as rising commodity prices led to fears of inflation.
The Dow Jones index dropped 1.4 per cent and the S&P 500 fell 0.9 per cent. The Nasdaq dropped 0.09 per cent.
Investors will soon scrutinise the US consumer price index for more inflation concerns.
Meanwhile in Australia, federal budget forecasts show wage growth of 1.5 per cent in 2021/22 – lower than inflation at 1.75 per cent.
The two measures are projected to be about even for the following two years.
Wage growth is predicted to be slightly higher than inflation in 2024/25 – 2.75 per cent compared with 2.5 per cent.
On the ASX, building materials supplier CSR’s full-year profit rose 17 per cent and the good times may continue as Australians take advantage of the federal government’s HomeBuilder stimulus.
CSR reported a net profit of $146.1 million for the 12 months to March 31.
New buildings coming online due to the federal government extending its HomeBuilder scheme will also help.
Shareholders will reap a final dividend of 14.5 cents per share, fully franked. There was no final dividend last year due to COVID-19.
Shareholders will also be paid a special dividend of 9.5 cents per share following settlement for a property sale in NSW.
Shares were up 4.31 per cent to $6.16.
The Commonwealth Bank’s peers did not fare as well as its performance.
ANZ, NAB and Westpac lost more than one per cent. Bank of Queensland dived 3.12 per cent to $8.68.
In mining, the big players were mixed. BHP lost 0.89 per cent to $50.82. Fortescue crept higher by 0.47 per cent to 24.20. Rio Tinto dipped by 0.61 per cent to $129.81.
Technology providers recovered some of the heavy losses in the past week from inflation fears.
Afterpay gained 3.13 per cent to $91.79.
The Australian dollar was buying 78.14 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 78.32 US cents at Tuesday’s close.