CBA, Magellan Drive ASX Gains

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Despite a weak global lead on Friday, ASX 200 futures managed to rise 11 points or 0.2% which points to a positive start to trade this morning.

While the iron ore price rose, oil, gold and copper prices fell not helped by another rise in the US dollar.

The surge in the greenback saw the Aussie fall to around 73 US cents, its lowest since January last year.

That puts it close to the level the Reserve Bank has been wanting to see for the last two years.

The Australian market rose week and coming within just a few points of a fresh 10-year high.

The ASX 200 index rose 43.6 points, or 0.7% by the close on to Friday, with most of the market movements coming on the back of annual results – led by the Commonwealth Bank and Suncorp.

CBA shares rose 3.6% to $75.47 last week on the back of the company’s 2018 earnings results.

While the company reported a lower cash profit for the first time since the financial crisis, most of the losses were attributed to one-off expenses linked to the costs from the banking royal commission and the Austrac money laundering scandal.

CBA shares are up more than 11% since its most recent low in June, a performance that has made all the gloom and doom predictions from the media and analysts look foolish.

But the bank still has to face the royal commission again over its superannuation activities

Suncorp reported a $1.1 billion profit for the June 30 financial year, sending its shares 5% higher to $15.64.

Other financials were solid – ANZ and Westpac shares were up 2.3% each, NAB shares rose 1.6% despite its absolute monstering at the royal commission, but AMP shares fell 2.5% after releasing unconvincing interim results mid-week.

Fund manager, Magellan Financial Group was the ASX 200’s best performer last week, rising 17.7% to $28.01 for the week after reporting a 37% jump in net profit to $239 million and lifting its dividend payout to more than 95% (as did Suncorp).

Amcor shares fell 6.7% to $14.26 after announcing it would buy US-based rival Bemis and move to a primary listing in the US, in a deal worth $US6.8 billion. Investors sold the shares because they thought Amcor was paying over the odds, which it was with Bemis shares jumping 21% in the month ahead of the announcement.

Deteriorating political and economic conditions in Brazil and Mexico forced SEEK to announce $178 million in write-downs on Monday.

The company also announced its preliminary financial results which showed revenue growth slowed and said that profit after tax for 2018-19 would be broadly similar to 2017-18 in 2018-19. Its shares fell 6.8%.

AGL Energy investors were naturally left disappointed by the company’s weak earnings outlook for the coming year on Thursday. The company’s guidance for the 2019 financial year came in below forecast, but that was from the record result in 2017-18 (reported last week) which also saw a record dividend payout for the year.

Greedy investors sold off the shares which fell 5.3% to close at $20.67.

Among the big miners, BHP shares edged up 1%, Rio shares fell 1.5%, OZ Minerals shares were up 0.8% and Whitehaven Coal shares rose 1.5% ahead of its full year results tomorrow.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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