The ASX bulls staged another advance by lifting its horns upward, elevating the local share market on Wednesday, with the finishing trading session adding +32.9 points, or +0.47%, to the index, with the close inking in at 7,088.20, extending a +0.6% advance made in the previous session, with CBA accounting for +60% of the day’s gains.
Meanwhile, the broader All Ordinaries index climbed +33.9 points, or +0.47%, to 7,185.3.
Stellar results from Commonwealth Bank boosted shares by +4.1% thanks to its half-year results exceeding market expectations.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia has reported a better-than-expected $4.48bn interim profit, buoyed by higher net interest income which offset lower fee revenue and a $100m hit from bushfires and drought. Its Net Interest Margin (NIM) managed to edge higher by 1bp to 2.11% (on 2H19) despite super lower interest rates.
CBA maintained its dividend at $2/share. Its gains on Wednesday accounted for around 60% of the market’s total improvements.
Elsewhere, medical biotech giant CSL reported a whopping +11% increase in both revenues and net profit after tax.
The company pulled in roughly $7.3 billion in revenue for the half-year and $1.82 billion in profits. CSL spiked sharply when the market opened but has since pared things back to close to a gain of -0.77% and a new all-time-high closing price of $328.25.
Shares of Australian health supplements firm Blackmores (BKL) plummeted -12.8% after cutting its earnings guidance for the year. It now expects to make between $17-$21m in net profit in FY20.
It blamed this partly on the Oct 2019 purchase of a manufacturing facility in Victoria, which pushed costs higher. The coronavirus has also slowed down business, as China is an essential market for the group (20% of sales).
China has experienced a dip in travel which has impacted Duty-Free, e-commerce partners and imports into China.
Miners ended the session weaker, with Titans, BHP tumbling -0.4% to $38.40 and Rio Tinto slipped -1.2% to $97.50.
Evolution Mining gained +2.6% after posting a +62% lift in underlying profit, improved margins, doubled its interim dividend to 7c and paid off all its debt.
The main driver of the result was a significant lift in the gold price received for each ounce of gold sold.
Beach Energy shares sank -4.3% to $2.21 after it released its profit result a session earlier. Packaging firm Orora close was disappointing with its shares falling -4.1% to $3.01.
Other strong improvers Idp Education Ltd (IEL), which soared +28.42%, while, Tassal Group Ltd added +11.89%. Carsales surged +8.3%, and Bapcor advanced by +6.1%.
Later this evening, Fed Chair Jerome Powell is set to testify before Congress for a second day.
Tomorrow, the arena is set for another big attraction for investors. Telstra (TLS), Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), AGL, AMP, ASX, NCM, GMG, WPL, S32 and NST are set to post earnings. National Bank (NAB) is expected to release its quarterly results while the RBA Governor will participate in a panel discussion at 11:15 am AEDT.