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.

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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).

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