Ex-Dividends Set To Weigh On The ASX

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Another nasty day on the ASX yesterday as the US Federal Reserve’s 0.50% cut failed to set markets alight in a positive way.

Instead it was a negative reaction on Wall Street, parts of Asia and the ASX yesterday.

The ASX 200 lost 110.3 points lower at 6,325.4 on Wednesday, a fall of 1.7%.

The All Ords index fell by 113.1 points pr 1.7% at 6,398.50.

Both indices are down around 12% down from the highs reached nine sessions ago on February 20.

Bega Cheese had a second solid day gaining 5.6% after Tuesday’s 6.5% jump. The 12% gain over the two days makes it a rare winner this week.

The information technology sector fell 4.2%, the financial sector fell 2.8%, and the energy sector lost 2.5%.

Healthcare was also whacked as Cochlear lost $10.50 to $207.50, CSL dropped $6.86 to $306.14, and Ramsay Health fell $3.05 to $67.12.

The banks remained under pressure as analysts question their ability to maintain dividends in a lower interest rate environment.

Commonwealth Bank shares by $2 to $77.11 while NAB, Westpac, and ANZ all lost more than 2%.

Macquarie Group lost $3 to $132.94 and fund manager Perpetual Ltd also dropped $3 to $35.84.

Xero lost $2.80 to $77.14 and Afterpay fell by $1.47 to $33.19. WiseTech was again sold off, losing 5.3% to $15.70.

With Comex gold futures running higher, the gold miners sector jumped 3.95% yesterday with Northern Star shares up 6.8% while Saracen jumped nearly 6%.

A big day today for interim (and in the case of QBE and Rio Tinto, final) dividends. A total of 16 ASX 200 companies go ex-dividend today (Thursday).

Therefore the share prices will be impacted by the dividend payment and fall.

If the markets are weak, like they have been this week, then going ex-dividend will magnify any weakness.

They include BHP, Ramsay Health, ASX paying $1.16 a share, Rio Tinto paying $3.49, and QBE paying 27¢.

Ramsay Health is another – it goes ex it’s 62.5 cents a share divie, but the shares slumped more than 7% at one stage yesterday as investors wondered if its offshore hospitals and clinics might be hit by the virus.

He said BHP goes ex-dividend by 98.5 cents 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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