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ASX 200 (XJO) morning report: Altium share price flies, Fed looms

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 (INDEXASX: XJO) index closed down 85.1 points, or 1.2 per cent, on Tuesday to a nearly three-week low of 6961.8, while the broader S&P/ASX All Ordinaries (ASX: XAO) lost the same in percentage terms, down 88 points to 7199.2.

This chart shows the performance of the Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (ASX: VAS), which tracks the S&P/ASX 300, and the iShares S&P500 ETF (ASX: IVV), which tracks the USA’s S&P 500 index. 

ASX reporting season rolls on

On top of the weak sentiment, profit results are coming thick and fast at the moment and there were plenty of company-specific stories. Telecommunications and utilities services provider Service Stream (ASX: SSM) slipped more than 17 per cent, down 17 cents to 84 cents, after plunging to a $36 million loss for FY22, after a $29.3 million profit a year ago. The unaudited preliminary report showed revenue was up 88.6 per cent, to $1.5 billion, but the market didn’t like the reported loss.

Woolworths Group (ASX: WOW) drinks spin-off Endeavour Group (ASX: EDV), the owner of Dan Murphy and BWS, was down $1.02, or 12.3 per cent, to $7.25 despite delivering a better-than-expected full-year profit of $495 million, up 11.3 per cent from the year before. The market did not like Endeavour’s outlook, which cited inflation, employee availability and the potential for supply chain disruption as possible negatives going forward.

Online retailer Kogan.com Ltd (ASX: KGN) announced a full-year loss of $35.5 million, with founder and chief executive Ruslan Kogan admitting that “we were wrong” by betting that booming e-commerce sales during the pandemic wouldn’t slow down after the lockdowns ended. Kogan shares slid 25 cents, or 6.6 per cent, to $3.55.

Kogan share price

Tech star Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) rocketed $5.91, or almost 20 per cent, higher to $35.84 after the electronic design software company reported a 57 per cent rise in net profit, to $US55.5 million. Kitchen appliance maker Breville Group Ltd (ASX: BRG) posted a 19.4 per cent rise in full-year sales to a record $1.4 billion as profit rose more than 16 per cent to $105.7 million, and lifted its dividend by 11 per cent to 15 cents, but after rising in early trade Breville settled 2 cents lower at $21.45 by the close. Breville has doubled the size of the business in the last four years, and the share price has almost doubled in that time.

Coal and lithium miners shine

Nine of the ASX’s 11 official sectors closed lower on Tuesday, with financials the biggest loser, falling just over 2 per cent. Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA), National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) all fell by about that percentage – ending at $97.02, $29.94 and $21.36 respectively – while ANZ Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) was down 39 cents, or 1.7 per cent, to $22.45, and Macquarie Group lost $6.04, or 3.4 per cent, to $172.57.

Among the heavyweight miners, BHP Group (ASX: BHP) shed 11 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to $41.46; Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) eased 53 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $97.66; and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG) lost 6 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to $19.04. Lithium producers had a good day, with Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) gaining 10 cents, or 3.1 per cent, to $3.27, and Allkem (ASX: AKE) rising 66 cents, or 5.3 per cent, to $13.16.

On the coal front, Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) notched a fresh record high, up 21 cents, or 2.8 per cent, to $7.75; New Hope Corporation (ASX: NHC) was up 12 cents, or 2.4 per cent, to $5.10; and Coronado Global Resources Inc (ASX: CRN) added 2.5 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to $1.80. Coal producers are benefiting as the closure of the Russian state-owned Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline into Europe lifts the price of coal.

US data disappoints

With the Federal Reserve symposium looming later this week, US markets slipped lower on the back of disappointing economic data.

New home sales fell sharply in July and business activity in both manufacturing and services areas showed weaker demand in August. The contraction in the services sector is a particular concern as it accounts for just under 77 per cent of US GDP. The broad S&P 500 lost 9.3 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4,128.7, the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 154 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 32,909.6 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index was flat at 12,381.3. The Gold price was down US$2.12 to US$1745.90, while Brent Crude oil surged US$3.74, or 3.9 per cent higher to US$100.20 a barrel. The Australian dollar is slightly weaker, buying 69.27 US cents this morning.

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