Search ASX code:
Generic filters

Search ASX code:
Generic filters

Search ASX code:
Generic filters

The ASX 200 (XJO) today – latest news from the Australian share market

The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) is expected to trade higher today with the Sydney Futures Exchange pointing to a positive open. Right now, the ASX 200 is priced 0.17% from its 52-week high of 7024.4.

Making investment headlines today is Challenger Ltd (ASX:CGF), Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX:NST).

Video: How the ASX 200 is calculated

If you need to scrub up on your knowledge of the markets, watch the free video above which explains how the ASX 200 is calculated. For more free videos, subscribe (for free) to Rask Australia’s YouTube channel by clicking here.

Important ASX 200 News Today

1. Challenger Ltd

Challenger is Australia’s largest provider of ‘annuities’, which are financial products typically sold to retirees who seek reliable income. Challenger was established in the mid-’80s and listed on the ASX in 1987.

Australia’s largest retiree annuities provider this morning released its half-year financial report showing a 10% increase in funds under management (FUM) to $86 billion, and an interim dividend of 17.5 cents per share, the same as last year.

Challenger CEO Richard Howes said the company is on track to meet its 2020 full financial year ‘normalised’ before-tax profit goal of between $500 million and $550 million. In the first half, Challenger delivered a before-tax profit of $279 million, up 3%.

“The ongoing execution of our carefully planned strategy, together with our response to industry disruption has put Challenger in a good position to optimise performance in the current environment,” Howes said in the company’s ASX release. More to come.

2. Macquarie Group Ltd

Macquarie Group is Australia’s largest investment bank with operations spread throughout North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia. Unlike a traditional ‘retail’ bank, like most investment banks Macquarie makes a large chunk of its profit by operating in the investment markets and managing ‘assets’ for individuals and organisations. As of 2019, Macquarie had reported a profit for 50 years in a row.

Macquarie provided an operational update or briefing to investors today saying that trading conditions “were satisfactory” in the December (3Q20) quarter.

Given it releases its periodic reports at a different time of year to most companies, Macquarie was still able to provide a short update on its key business lines today.

In the bank’s “annuity-style” businesses, which includes Macquarie asset management and vanilla banking products, the company said the profit contribution result was up on the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, across the hallway, Macquarie’s market-facing businesses reported a combined net profit contribution which was “significantly down” on the same quarter from 2019. The bank put the result down to meaningfully lower investment-related income from its Macquarie Capital business.

Looking ahead, the company expects to report a full-year result slightly down on last year but CEO Shemara Wikramanayake said the bank remains “well positioned” to deliver superior performance over the medium term.

3. Northern Star Resources Ltd

Northern Star Resources (NST) is one of Australia’s largest gold miners, with operations in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Alaska. NST claims to have tier-1 world-class mining projects in very promising regions thanks to their low sovereign risk.

Today, Australian and global gold miners will be watching NST after the West Australian mining middleweight delivered its half-year financial report to investors, showing revenue up 31% to $826 million and a net profit result of $127 million, up 54%.

NST declared a dividend of 7.5 cents per share fully franked.

“The combination of these earnings, cashflows and overall returns is the result of our highly disciplined approach to capital investment, whether it be through exploration, development or acquisition,” Northern Star Resources’ CEO Bill Beament said.

Are you stuck wondering where to invest right now? Have you got cash 'sitting on the sidelines'? Are you looking for dividend income AND growth but don't know where to start? Rask's expert ASX analyst team has just released a full report, detailing where we'd invest $10,000 right now.

Not only are we offering these 11 investment ideas completely FREE, we've also released an in-depth podcast to go with the report!

So, whether you have $2,000 or $50,000, our brand new analyst report could help transform your watchlist. Right now, you can get the full analyst report emailed to you for FREE by CLICKING HERE NOW or simply entering your email below.

Unsubscribe anytime. Read our TermsFinancial Services GuidePrivacy Policy. We’ll never sell your email address. Our company is Australian owned.

Are you stuck wondering where to invest right now? Have you got cash 'sitting on the sidelines'? Are you looking for dividend income AND growth but don't know where to start? Rask's expert ASX analyst team has just released a full report, detailing where we'd invest $10,000 right now.

Not only are we offering these 11 investment ideas completely FREE, we've also released an in-depth podcast to go with the report!

So, whether you have $2,000 or $50,000, our brand new analyst report could help transform your watchlist. Right now, you can get the full analyst report emailed to you for FREE by CLICKING HERE NOW.

Information warning: The information on this website is published by The Rask Group Pty Ltd (ABN: 36 622 810 995) is limited to factual information or (at most) general financial advice only. That means, the information and advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not specific to you, your needs, goals or objectives. Because of that, you should consider if the advice is appropriate to you and your needs, before acting on the information. If you don’t know what your needs are, you should consult a trusted and licensed financial adviser who can provide you with personal financial product advice. In addition, you should obtain and read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before making a decision to acquire a financial product. Please read our Terms and Conditions and Financial Services Guide before using this website. The Rask Group Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (#1280930) of AFSL #383169.

Keep reading:

Rask Analyst’s $10,000 Hypothetical Portfolio 

Rask Australia’s expert analysts have just released 11 stock & ETF positions they’d buy right now as part of a $10,000 hypothetical portfolio. 

Completely free, this report comes with the exact ticker codes, how much the analysts would invest and a detailed over the company and why we like it. Plus a 60-min podcast! 

Simply enter your email address and we’ll send you the report.

Unsubscribe anytime. Read our TermsFinancial Services GuidePrivacy Policy. We’ll never sell your email address. Our company is Australian owned.