• Local shares closed lower on a hectic day for earnings
  • China’s central bank disappointed markets 
  • Premier Investments best stock, and Iress worst for the day


The ASX 200 fell around -0.35% today as Tech and Consumer Staples led the sell-off, offset by gains in Discretionary and Energy sectors.

The Tech sector was weighed down by a 34pc plunge in data provider Iress (ASX:IRE), which released its earnings today.

It was an extremely hectic day of earnings results on the ASX – details in the below sections.

Traders were also reacting to disappointing news out of China, where the central bank, PBOC, has set the one-year loan prime rate at 3.45%, which was 5bp higher than expectations.

Goldman says the PBOC’s decision today will weigh on markets.

“Until more forceful policy responses are made available to backstop the contagion risk, we believe Chinese stocks will settle in a lower trading range than we previously envisaged,” noted Goldman.

The Aussie dollar, meanwhile, is close to breaching the US64c psychological floor level, trading now at US64.02c.

New data from Bloomberg shows there’s an influx of short AUD positions being put on by speculators as China’s deteriorating economic outlook takes centre stage for commodity currency pairs.



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Premier Investments (ASX:PMV) was the best large cap today, up 13% after reporting that sales for the full year was $1.64 billion, up 9.7% on FY22 sales. Premier Retail now expects a record FY23 EBIT in the range of $355.0 million and $357.0 million.

Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) has kept its dividend at 25c per share despite NPAT slumping for the full year to $1.01 billion – a $1.80 billion decrease on the record result achieved last FY. The company also announced a $1.15 billion reline and upgrade of the No.6 Blast Furnace (6BF) at the Port Kembla Steelworks.

Ampol (ASX:ALD) rose despite reporting a 26% decrease on pcp in its core half-year NPAT to $329.6m. Ampol slashed its H1 dividend to 95¢ per share, from $1.20 in the previous year’s half.

Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) lifted after announcing a gas discovery at Trigg Northwest 1, the fourth well of the Perth Basin gas exploration campaign and the second Beach-operated well.

Real estate stock Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) climbed after reporting a full year statutory profit after tax of $196.1 million. For the year, group funds under management (FUM) grew by $7.5 billion to $87.4 billion.



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Westpac (ASX:WBC) posted a quarterly cash profit of $1.8 billion in line with forecast. However, the bank flagged an acceleration in its quarterly expenses of an extra 5% compared to the last half.

Agribusiness stock Elders (ASX:ELD) tumbled almost 10% after updating its profit guidance. Elders says Underlying EBIT is now expected to be between $165 million and $175 million, down from the previous guidance of between $180 million and $200 million.

A2Milk (ASX:A2M) plunged 11% after warning that its China business will be more challenging as birth rates fell to a record low. A2M posted FY23 growth of 10.1% to $NZ1.59 billion, in line with the lower end of its guidance. The company’s NPAT was up 26.2% on pcp to $NZ155.6 million.

Market data provider Iress (ASX:IRE) dropped 34% today after announcing a binding agreement to divest its Managed Funds Administration (MFA) business to global software company, SS&C Technologies for $52m in cash. Iress says it will use the proceeds to retire debt. Iress also reported a 29% plunge in NPAT for the half to $24.4m.

IAG Insurance (ASX:IAG) fell modestly despite reporting a 140% increase in NPAT for the full year. Final dividend was declared at 9cps. The insurer has also discloses $7b in legal claims on the back of Greensill Capital collapse.