The Australian share market has clawed back its losses from earlier in the week to hit a fresh all-time closing high - even as five more companies announced their earnings had been infected by the coronavirus epidemic.
Wednesday, 19th February, 2020
The ASX200 index finished up 30.9 points, or 0.43 percent, to 7,144.6, breaking the all-time closing high of 7,132.7 and coming within a hair's breadth of the record intraday high of 7,145.8 set last Thursday. The broader All Ordinaries index gained 29.1 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,237.4.
The gains came despite Commonwealth Bank falling 2.7 percent to $87.83 as it traded ex-dividend, shaving 14 points off the index on one of the busiest days of reporting season. Wesfarmers rose 2.9 percent to $46.55 after the Perth-based conglomerate reported that a strong performance by Bunnings had helped lift its first-half net profit 5.7 percent to $1.13 billion. Vocus gained 8.4 percent to a four-month high of $3.63 after the broadband provider said it had made progress digging out of its $1.02 billion in debt as part of a three-year turnaround plan..
Corporate Travel Management gained 0.1 percent to $16.21 despite cutting its full-year earnings guidance by up to $40 million, on account of "unprecedented disruption" from the coronavirus outbreak on international travel. Webjet gained 10.8 percent to $13.72 after a strong half-year, but warned the corona virus outbreak would cut its second-half earnings by $7 million to $15 million. Crown Resorts dropped 0.3 percent to a six-year low of $11.76 after the casino operator reported it was experiencing softer trading conditions as a result of travel restrictions in response to the COVID-19 virus.
Domino's Pizza Enterprises gained 9.6 percent to a nearly three-year high of $63 after strong online delivery sales lifted its first-half net profit 29.8 percent. Coles shares were down 4.2 percent to $16.04 after Wesfarmers announced it had sold 4.9 percent of the supermarket chain it spun off in 2018, leaving it with a 10.1 per cent stake.
The Australian dollar was buying 66.92 US cents, down from 66.91 US cents at the market close on Tuesday.
|Equities / Fixed Interest||Close||Change||% Change|
|Currency||Close||Pts Change||% Change|
|$A vs $US||0.6693||--||--|
|$A vs GBP||0.5150||
|$A vs EUR||0.6199||--||--|
|$A vs YEN||73.65||0.11||0.14|
|$A vs $NZ||