- Australian benchmark index, the ASX 200, opened lower and dropped 0.83% to hit a low of 7,519.
- The market witnessed broad-based selling with 10 of the 11 sectors bleeding in red.
- Financial, energy and material stocks declined the most.
- Shares of Breville, Santos, Dexus, Sezzle, and Magellan were all trading lower after releasing their earnings this morning.
- Blue-chip miner BHP fell over 1% ahead of its earnings report.
Australian shares were trading near the day’s low by the afternoon amid a broad-based sell-off. The market witnessed stock specific movement with investors reacting to earnings numbers, while persistent concerns over rising COVID-19 cases also dampened investor sentiment.
The ASX 200 was currently trading 58 points or 0.76% lower at 7,524.50 by the lunchtime. Extending previous session losses, the index opened lower today and declined as much as 0.83% to hit a low of 7,519.
Today is going to be the powerpack day for earnings season with as many as 18 companies are slated to release their earnings report. Some of the big names include real estate investment trusts Dexus and Charter Hall, energy firm Santos, financial company Magellan, Shopping Centres Australasia, SG Fleet and Sims. Blue-chip miner BHP will also release its results just post market hours.
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Shares of Breville, Santos, Dexus, Sezzle, and Magellan were all trading lower after releasing their earnings this morning. BHP (ASX: BHP) was also down over 1% ahead of its earnings report this afternoon.
On the sectoral front, 10 of the 11 sectors were bleeding in red. The financial sector was the worst performer with a 1.4% loss, followed by energy and material which fell over 1% each. A-REIT, utilities, information technology, consumer discretionary and health care also witnessed selling pressure.
Bucking the trend, consumer staples extended gain for the second day, trading higher with marginal gains.
On the COVID-19 front, NSW recorded 452 new locally acquired infections in the past 24 hours, while Victoria registered 24 cases. Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the case tally in NSW is likely to “rise substantially” as the virus continued to spread through the state.
Top gainers and losers
Global kitchen appliance maker Breville Group (ASX: BRG) topped the loser’s chart by falling nearly 8%. Some of the other notable losers were Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG), mining firm Lynas Rare Earths (ASX: LYC), oil producer Beach Energy (ASX: BPT) and mining infrastructure service provider Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN).
On the winning side, general insurance broker Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF) emerged as the top performer with a 4.2% gain. Some of the other gainers include health care firm Fisher and Paykel Healthcare (ASX: FPH), online retailer Kogan (ASX: KGN), new and used car seller Carsales.com (ASX: CAR) and electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi (ASX: JBH).
Shares in news
Shares of Australia’s biggest gas supplier Santos (ASX:STO) fell over 1% despite reporting robust earnings. The company reported a profit of US$354 million during the first half, while revenue rose 22% to US$2.04 billion. The company also declared an interim dividend of 5.5 US cents per share.
Shares of Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) were down 1.5% after the lender issued a business update for the June quarter. Australia’s second-largest bank indicated a return of capital to shareholders following buybacks and a dividend announcement by its big four competitors.
Shares of Breville Group (ASX: BRG) dropped over 7% even after posting strong growth in profit and revenue.
Aventus Group (ASX: AVN) shares traded marginally lower after the company sold the MacGregor Home Shopping Centre to Stirling Property for AU$42.15 million. The property, located in Queensland, was sold at a 56% premium to its December 31 book value.
Shares of Charter Hall Retail REIT (ASX: CQR) fell nearly 2% post its earnings numbers. The leading Australian property group reported robust growth in its profit but it has lowered its distribution.
The share price of Monadelphous (ASX: MND) was up 0.5% after the company secured new contracts. The engineering company has bagged new construction and maintenance contracts in the resources and energy sectors valued at around AU$200 million.
Shares of SG Fleet (ASX: SGF) fell nearly 3% despite reporting robust earnings. The mobility solutions provider posted a 20% growth in profit to AU$43.7 million while underlying net profit rose 41.8% to AU$51.6 million. It also declared a fully franked final dividend of 5.39 cents a share.
Natural gas producer Senex Energy (ASX: SXY) saw its shares trading 0.5% higher following an update on Atlas project expansion. The company in an ASX filing said the final investment decision had been taken for the AU$40-million expansion of the natural gas production at Atlas by 50% to 18 petajoules a year.