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Investors hold their breath

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

By Michael McCarthy (chief market strategist, CMC Markets)

The Australian share market is on hold today as company results jostle each other for attention, and investors await the yearly report from the world’s largest listed mining company - BHP.

The morning session sees the Australia 200 index trading in a narrow, 0.25% band. Instead, the focus is on individual stocks, with reporting in full swing. Today’s market winners include Challenger, trading higher after 9.6% profit lift, and Mirvac Group, buoyed by 69% lift in headline profits on the back of property revaluations. On the flip side, Domino Pizza shares are under pressure after the company unveiled plans to revamp its menu, despite a full year surge in profits of 29%.

Trading across the region is also subdued. Currency markets are becalmed, and gold and oil are steady at higher levels. Naturally, energy and material stocks are finding support, but volumes indicate an overall lack of investor interest.

BHP is likely to announce its largest single year loss ever after market today. Write downs of the value of US energy assets, and costs associated with the Samarco mine disaster have analysts on consensus estimating a loss around $6 billion, USD. BHP is trading mildly higher ahead of the result.

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