The latest news from the ASX 200 at lunchtime – STO, ANZ & APT in the spotlight

The All Ordinaries index (ASX:XAO) was trading 1.45% up on Thursday as Santos Ltd (ASX: STO), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) & Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT) shares moved the Australian share market.

1. Santos – up 5%

Santos shares have jumped 11.85% in the last two days and were last seen trading 5.5% higher today alone.

This price spike comes on the back of oil prices rising once again. Things are beginning to look much more positive for Santos, which like many companies on the ASX, had seen a decline in share price due to the uncertainty brought on by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and dramatic oversupply in oil markets.

After releasing its quarterly update on the 23rd on April 2020, Santos’ share price has slowly been creeping its way higher and higher. Here’s an article I recently wrote on Santos’ quarterly update.

2. ANZ – flat

ANZ has reported its FY20 half-year result today and interestingly decided to defer its dividend payment.

ANZ reported that its statutory profit after tax fell by 51% to $1.5 billion. Continuing cash profit dropped by 60% to $1.4 billion. Cash earnings per share fell by 60% to 50 cents per share.

If you’re thinking about buying bank shares, you might want to read the following Rask Media update from our lead investment analyst:

You’d be bonkers to buy ASX bank shares before reading this

The decline of ANZ’s profit was largely driven by credit impairment charges of $1.67 billion, including increased credit provisions for the impact of COVID-19 of $1.03 billion. The valuation of its investments in its Asian associates was impaired by $815 million, mostly due to the COVID-19 impacts. Click here to keep reading.

3. Afterpay – up 6%

Afterpay is the owner of the popular “buy now, pay later” app. As of 2020, Afterpay had over 7.5 million registered users worldwide, making it one of Australia’s true technology success stories.

Today, Afterpay shares were seen trading 6.9% higher as confidence in the company continues to grow after its recent investor presentation, which instilled confidence in its users and investors. This came at a time when Australians have begun to think more optimistically about a return to a ‘normal’ lifestyle.

Over the last month alone Afterpay shares have risen 60% and are currently trading at $30.12. After bottoming out at $8.90 in the back end of March 2020, things have been on the rise. Read this article on Afterpay Touch for more insight.

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