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ASX 200 morning report – CBA, MFG & AEF shares in focus

The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) finished 0.3% lower on Wednesday, with the materials and e-commerce sectors leading the fall.

BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) remain under pressure, falling more than 2% each as the hot commodity sector is cooled by increasing supply.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) briefly touched $100 per share for the first time, taking its market capitalisation to $177 billion, double that of Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC); an incredible result given the pandemic continues.

Magellan unveils new product

Shares in Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG) jumped another 2.2% after the details of the soon to be launched retirement income product were released.

The group is expected to offer investors a yield of around 4.3% per annum, supported by investments in global equities and a ‘mortality reserve’ to top up performance should it wane.

Aussie Ethical powering ahead

Australian Ethical Investments Limited (ASX: AEF), of which I am a shareholder, reported another $100 million in inflows in April taking total assets under management to $5.68 billion.

Management now expects an underlying profit of $8.8 to $9.3 million compared to $7.0 in FY20. Australian Ethical shares finished relatively flat.

Construction remains untouched

The domestic construction sector continues to navigate the pandemic with little interruption.

Overall construction increased 2.4% to $52 billon in the March quarter, with building work 2.5% higher and engineering 2.2%.

Fletcher capital returns

Fletcher Building Limited (ASX: FBU), which provides building supplies, rallied 3.9% after upgrading its earnings guidance and confirming it will undertake an on-market buy-back of NZ$400 million.

It now expects earnings to fall between $650 and $665 million as margins extend despite some input cost pressures.

ALS profit jumps

Laboratory testing and inspection firm ALS Ltd (ASX: ALQ) led the market gainers, jumping 12.8% after reporting a 5.2% increase in revenue to $1.76 billion.

This supported a more than 50% jump in profit to $172 million with management citing the decision to better align staff and resources to actual client demand amid the pandemic rather than seeking growth.

A number of impairments were offset by profits on the sale of its Asian business, with a doubling of the dividend to 14.6 cents per share cheered by investors.

ASX 200 today

The latest SPI futures are pointing to a flat open on Thursday despite a positive lead from US markets overnight. For all the latest, check out Rask Media’s US stock market report.

The Golden Rules of Investing

We might be experts in retirement, but with combined financial advice experience of 35+ years, we’ve nearly seen it all. 

In mid-2023, our senior team at Wattle Partners Financial Planning put the finishing touches on a brand-new report “The Golden Rules of Investing“.

In this free report, we outline the key principles that determine all of the portfolio construction and investment decisions of Wattle Partners. Collated over decades, this paper should be seen as a work-in-progress, constantly under review in light of the ever-evolving nature of markets. 

You’ll find the free report on my Author page. Simply click the button below to view the Golden Rules.

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.

Disclosure: At the time of publishing, Drew owns shares in Australian Ethical.

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Wattle Partners is a financial advice firm, servicing clients around Australia, specialising in retirement planning (pre and post retirement). 

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