ASX 200 opens in red as soaring COVID-19 infections spook investors

Highlights

  • The ASX 200 opened 0.12% or 9.4 points lower at 7,573.1 on Tuesday as a steady rise in COVID-19 infections dampened investor sentiment.
  • The a2 Milk Company continued its rally from yesterday and is up 5.16% today.
  • ARB Corporation’s net profit after tax grew 97% to AU$112.9 million in FY21 on the back of robust demand for its products

The Australian benchmark index, ASX 200, has opened 0.12% or 9.4 points lower at 7,573.1 on Tuesday, despite a decent Wall Street session overnight. A steady rise in COVID-19 infections in the country's major cities is dampening investor sentiment and gripping the local markets.

Image Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media

Global investors on Monday  took the risk off their positions, as concerns about an economic slowdown in China, turmoil in Afghanistan, and the spreading COVID-19 Delta variant put the brakes on the last week's equities surge.

The Dow Jones rose 0.31%, to 35,624.35, while the S&P 500 was up 0.26%, to 4,479.66. The NASDAQ Composite fell 0.2%, closing the session at 14,793.76.

Read More: US stocks trade flat on gloomy Chinese economic data

How has the market performed so far?

As of 10:30 AM AEST, the ASX 200 has continued its downtrend for the day, trading 0.28% or 21.6 points lower at the day’s low of 7,560.9. The ASX All Ordinaries index has also fallen 0.16% to 7,836.8 in the opening session.

The biggest draggers of the ASX 200 are Breville Group Limited (ASX:BRG) and Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN), losing 7.48% and 5.23%, respectively.

Data Source: ASX Website (as of 17 August 2021, 10:30 AM AEST)

The a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) has continued its rally from yesterday and is up 5.16% today, supporting the ASX 200. Another stock keeping the benchmark index from falling further is Carsales.com Limited (ASX:CAR), gaining 5.09%.

                         

ASX Loses Momentum Despite Strong Global Markets

 

The market breadth has been negative since Monday, when the ASX 200 closed 0.61% down. So far today, 7 out of the 11 sectors are in the red with the Metals and Mining sector losing the most with a 0.22% downtick followed by a fall of 0.12% in utilities. Consumer Staples is up 0.15%, leading the sectors trading in green today. 

Newsmakers

Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) has recorded a significant drop in the performance fee to AU$30.1 million in FY21 from AU$81 million a year ago. However, the management fee has increased 8% to AU$631.4 million in FY21 as its fund management business grew in size.

ARB Corporation Limited’s (ASX:ARB) net profit after tax grew 97% to AU$112.9 million in FY21 on the back of robust demand for its products. The revenue from sales also shot up by a third to AU$623 million. The firm’s full year dividend rose to 72 cents per share from 68 cents per share.

Image Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media

Venture capital group Bailador Technology Investments Limited’s (ASX:BTI) net tangible assets per share increased 23% to AU$1.53 in FY21, with full year net profit recovering to AU$28 million from AU$4 million loss in the last year.

Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) has reported a 9.5% increase in the operating earnings to AU$156.2 million in FY21. The statutory profit rose multifold from AU$44.2 million in FY20 to AU$291.2 million in FY21. However, the REIT reported a 4.6% fall in distribution to 23.4 cents per unit.

Dexus Property Group (ASX:DXS) grew its net profit by 17% to AU$1.1 billion in FY21, backed by a 2.4% increase in revenue to AU$1.01 billion. The distribution to security holders increased by 1.9% to AU$561 million.

Read More: COVID-19: NSW records another daily high, Melbourne extends lockdown

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