The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(^AXJO) is expected to open lower today, the USA’s S&P 500 Index (.INX) went down 1.42% on Tuesday.

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 71.21US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): down 1.22%

Oil (WTI): $US52.57 per barrel

Gold: $US1,285 per ounce

ASX Sharemarket News

In ASX sharemarket news, buy now, pay later company Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) made its appearance in the Senate inquiry. The payday lending and consumer lending sectors are the ones most under pressure of regulation, with Afterpay demonstrating it was quite different to Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P).

Afterpay repeated its support for ASIC’s review, that buy now pay later providers should come under the jurisdiction but the National Credit Act doesn’t need to be extended to cover.

Afterpay recently revealed that it had grown its underlying sales by 140% to more than $2.2 billion in a recent business developments announcement.

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Listed investment company (LIC) Bki Investment Co Ltd (ASX: BKI) has announced its half year report to the ASX. The LIC reported that, excluding special dividend income, its net operating profit increased by 12% to $25.5 million, however earnings per share fell 4% to 3.510 cents per share. Its ordinary interim dividend was maintained at 3.625 cents per share.

Including the special dividend income, earnings per share increased 74% to 6.48 cents per share and a special dividend of 1.5 cents per share was declared.

BKI Co-Portfolio Manager Tom Millner said: “BKI received a significant amount of special dividends during the half from Telstra, QUBE Logistics, IAG Insurance, Suncorp and Woolworths.”

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 Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) has come out with a profit expectations downgrade. The company said that it had been impacted by increased market volatility during the half.

Challenger now expects net profit before tax to be between $545 million to $565 million.

The new Challenger CEO Richard Howes said: “Challenger has a strong track record of success through the cycle, which gives me confidence in our performance over the longer term. We continue to be well placed to take advantage of growth in the retirement income market. 

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Disclaimer: Any information contained in this article is limited to general financial/investment advice only. The information has not taken into account your specific needs, goals or objectives, so please consider consulting a licenced and trusted adviser before acting on the information. Please read The Rask Group’s Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information. This article is authorised by Owen Raszkiewicz of The Rask Group, which is a corporate authorised representative No. 1264179 of Strawman Pty Ltd (ACN: 610 908 211) (AFSL: 501 223).