ASX 200 To Open Higher, 3 ASX Shares To Watch

The ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(^AXJO) is expected to open higher today, the USA’s S&P 500 Index (.INX) went up by 0.96% on Friday.

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 69.99US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): down 0.46%

Oil (WTI): $US61.81 per barrel

Gold: $US1,271 per ounce

ASX Sharemarket News

In ASX sharemarket news, large ASX bank Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) has reported its result for the six months to 31 March 2019.

Westpac reported that its statutory net profit declined by 24% to $3.17 billion and cash earnings dropped 22% to $3.3 billion. Excluding remediation and restructuring costs of $753 million after tax, cash earnings were down 5%.

The all important dividend was maintained at 94 cents per share, which will be pleasing to retiree investors. The bank reported its Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital ratio was 10.64%, which is above APRA’s ‘unquestionably strong’ benchmark.

Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer said: “This is a disappointing result reflecting weaker business conditions and the bank dealing decisively with outstanding issues, including remediation and resetting our wealth strategy.”

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Bubs Australia Ltd (ASX: BUB) is also in the news this morning, it is launching Australia’s first organic grass fed infant formula after entering into an agreement with Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund (ASX: FSF).

The range will be made available in Chemist Warehouse pharmacies and a long term supply and manufacturing agreement with Fonterra Australia has been reached.

Bubs Australia CEO and Founder Ms Kristy Carr commented: “Super premium product offerings are the fastest growing segment of the infant formula category, and we are now able to offer two nutritional options – organic and goat, to suit individual dietary needs,”

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National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) is also in the news as it faces legal action over small business loans made by its (at the time) British subsidiary CYBG Plc (ASX: CYB) when they were a combined business.

At the time of publishing, Jaz does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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