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Afternoon (PM) Market Report

The Australian share market has given up most of its gains from Tuesday, as markets around the world turned skittish ahead of a key meeting of central bankers.


Wednesday, 21st August, 2019

The ASX200 index finished Wednesday down 61.7 points, or 0.94 percent, to 6,483.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was closed down 54.8 points, or 0.83 percent, to 6,572.6. With global markets having been driven higher most of the year driven by lower interest rates, traders were cautious ahead of the release of minutes from the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and the European Central Bank, as well the start of an annual meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The mining, industrial, consumer staples and property trusts were all down between 1.4 and 2.0 percent, while health care, tech stocks and utilities the only sectors to post gains.

Earnings were sharply in focus during another busy day in reporting season. Market darling A2 Milk fell 13.2 percent to $13.89 after reporting full-year earnings growth of 46.1 percent to $NZ413.6 million ($A391m), a bit below analyst predictions. Iluka Resources fell 10.6 percent after the mineral sands producer said its underlying half-year earnings had fallen 6.7 percent to $232.7 million as trade tensions tampered demand for zircon. Nearmap fell 9.6 percent to a four-year low $2.84 after the aerial mapping company said its full-year net loss jumped from $11 million to $14.9 million.

On the positive side of things, McMillan Shakespeare gained 17.8 percent to a six-month high of $15.47 after the salary packaging company said underlying full-year net profit fell 5.1 percent to $88.7 million. Wisetech Global rose 11 percent to $30.76 after the logistics software company said its full-year profit rose 32.7 percent to $54.1 million. Carsales.com gained 10.9 percent to hit an all-time high of $15.57 after its adjusted earnings grew seven per cent to $210 million, despite tough market conditions.

Elsewhere, the big banks were all lower, led by Westpac, which fell 1.8 percent to $27.52. ANZ was down 1.2 per cent to $26.37, NAB dropped 0.7 percent to $27.15 and Commonwealth was down 0.1 percent to $77.02. The mining sector saw collective losses of 2.0 percent as the price of iron ore fell 2.6 percent, with BHP dropping 2.9 percent to $35.25, Rio Tinto falling 2.5 percent to $83.70 and Fortescue Metals down 4.1 percent to $7.27. Gold miners were mixed, with Saracen Minerals up 1.7 percent and Newcrest up 0.4 percent, but Evolution fell 2.0 percent and Northern Star was down 0.4 percent.

The Aussie dollar is buying 67.75 US cents, from 67.83 US cents on Tuesday.

Equities / Fixed Interest Close Change % Change 
All Ordinaries 6573 -55 -0.83
S&P/ASX 200 6483 -62 -0.94
Currency Close Pts Change % Change 
$A vs $US 0.6774 0.0001 0.02
$A vs GBP 0.5582

0.0015

0.27
$A vs EUR 0.6106 0.0003 0.05
$A vs YEN 72.19 0.20 0.28
$A vs $NZ

1.0589

0.0024

-0.01