Geopolitical concerns continue to be the main driver for the markets, with the ASX 200 falling by 1.26% today.

With Wall Street closed overnight (Presidents Day), local shares opened lower and remained in the red on the back of a risk selloff in Europe.

Although a Putin-Biden summit is theoretically still on the table, the Russian president roiled markets overnight when he formally recognised two breakaway regions in Ukraine, and begun moving troops into the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

French President Macron has called for an immediate “targeted European sanctions” against Russia.

On the ASX, cyclical sectors like Energy and Staples again surged higher on the news today (up by around 2% each), but all other sectors fell with Tech suffering the most, down by more than 3%.

The ANZ Roy Morgan consumer confidence index dampened the mood further after it slumped another 1.4 points.

In corporate news, more half yearly results were announced, with the likes of Cochlear, Coles and Regis Resources all reporting H1 earnings.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Cochlear (ASX:COH) was up 9% today, after it reported H1 FY22 revenue $815.3m up 9.8% on pcp. Net profit of $169.3m, down 28% on pcp, while interim dividend was declared at 155 cents, up 35% on pcp.

Cochlear has maintained its full-year net profit guidance of between $265m – $285 million, a jump of between 13-22% on pcp.

Horticultural company Costa Group (ASX:CGC) surged 8% as its earnings momentum continued for the half.

Costa reported revenue of $1.22bn, while NPAT was $64m, up 16.2% on pcp. The company also reported a fully franked dividend of 5 cents per share.

Fintech Hub 24 (ASX:HUB)’s revenue jumped 72% on pcp to $81.6 million. Statutory NPAT was $8.4m, up 38% on pcp.

Coles (ASX:COL) was up 3% despite announcing that its first half earnings were hit by COVID-19 disruptions. Coles’ revenue rose just 1% (on pcp) to $20.8 billion for the half, while profit declined 2% to $549m.

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Ultrasound device maker Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) was down 13% despite reporting revenue of $60.6 million, up 41% on pcp. Operating profit before tax of $3.3m, compared with $0.2m on pcp.

NAN says that assuming the positive market recovery trends experienced in the second quarter of FY22 continue, it will maintain double digit revenue growth expectations.