The ASX 200 managed to regain some early losses, and closed the day just 0.40% lower.

The Energy sector shed almost 3%, as investors locked in profits after the XEJ index hit a one-year peak yesterday.

This comes as oil prices rose another 1% overnight, with Brent price now at $US95.06 a barrel and well on its way to US$100 for the first time since 2014.

OPEC is trying its best to calm the markets, with Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo telling reporters the cartel is working behind the scenes to ensure ample supply of oil globally.

Gold is the other commodity that’s been spiking recently on war concerns. The spot gold price is currently trading around $US1867 an ounce, its highest level since mid November. Nice.

Meanwhile, the ASX Tech sector was the best performing sector today, up 1.5%, which helped steady the ship.

In corporate news, BHP (ASX:BHP) declared a record interim dividend of $US1.50 a share (up from US$1.01 a year ago), as profits soared by 144% (on pcp) in the first half to $9.44bn.

It was the largest interim dividend in its history, dropping $10.7 billion into the pockets of shareholders less than a month after unifying its structure to combine its Australian and British companies into a single $250 billion capped Aussie miner.

Despite the announcement, BHP slumped 0.3% today.


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Recycling specialist Sims Ltd (ASX:SGM) jumped 16% after delivering revenue $4.26b, up 73.9% on pcp. Bottom line EBIT was $361.7m, up a massive 541% on pcp.

Human resources specialist Seek Ltd (ASX:SEK) was also up 6%, after declaring its highest dividend in three years. Seek’s sales revenue rose 59% on pcp to $517.2m, and profit from continuing operations was up 152% to $126.7m.


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Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) lost over 10%, just a day after jumping 10% on the back of strong net profit for the first half.

Protective equipment maker Ansell (ASX:ANN) dropped as EBIT fell 24% to US$111m despite a 7.6% increase in sales to around US$1bn for the half. The company said that its medical glove margins will fall over the coming year.