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ASX 200 set to rise – BUB, BOQ & CGF shares in focus

The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) fell 0.2% on Wednesday, the third straight lower close.

The selling pressure once again turned to the iron ore sector, but primarily the most leveraged, with materials down 1.1% but the likes of Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) falling 4.6% and 5.3%, respectively.

Nine of the 11 main sectors were actually positive, suggesting some divergence in performance and expectations with the real estate sector adding 1.6% as Vicinity Centres (ASX: VCX) was 3.0% higher.

Bank of Queensland share price hit on revenue

Financials also fell 0.6% after the Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ) was sold off on a weaker than anticipated FY21 result.

BOQ shares fell 4.3% despite reporting an 83% increase in cash earnings to $412 million and a tripling of profit to $369 million. Net interest margin also improved, albeit only slightly, with the dividend hitting 22 cents.

The group continues to grow its loan book above the broader industry, at 9% compared to 6%, but traders were clearly worried about the blowout in costs from $600 million to $645 million.

Challenger stakes claim

Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) outlined its ambitious plans to dominate the retirement income space in the years ahead, delivering a solid Q1 update to the market on Wednesday.

Assets under management increased 3% on the back of strong life annuity sales which grew 32% to $2.1 billion.

Assets under management are now $108 billion with strong momentum across every part of the business, according to the CEO.

Institutional demand remains strong following the release of the Retirement Income Covenant whilst the group now has excess capital that can be used to shield from unexpected volatility.

Featured: How advisers manage a $2.3 million portfolio

Bubs & a2 Milk shares rocket

Goat milk formula marketing group Bubs Australia Ltd (ASX: BUB) was a standout on Wednesday, soaring 39% in a single session after reporting a turnaround in the first quarter following a near shutdown in 2020 as border closures hit.

Revenue was 45% higher to $18.5 million. Market share gains and scan sales growth were 35% higher, with the Daigou sales up over 6 times last year’s levels.

The a2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) benefitted from the rally, moving 13.4% higher without any announcement.

ASX 200 today

The ASX 200 is set to open higher on Thursday as US markets snapped a three-day losing streak overnight. The technology sector led the rebound as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) shares made headlines. To find out more, check out my US stock market report.

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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.

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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.

At the time of publishing, the author of this article does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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