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Afternoon (PM) Market Report

The Australian share market has posted a modest rise as big gains for Qantas, Crown Resorts and Nine Entertainment were partly offset by big ex-dividend retreats for AGL Energy and Woodside Petroleum.


Thursday, 22nd February, 2018

The ASX200 index was up 0.1 percent at 5,950.9 points.

Qantas shares gained 5.9 percent to $5.58 after the airline announced a $378 million share buyback and 18 percent growth in half-year profit. Crown Resorts lifted 4.4 percent to $13.05 as its half-year normalised profit increased and its key international VIP gambling business recovered from the fallout from the detention of Crown staff in China. Free-to-air broadcaster Nine Entertainment soared 16.2 percent to a two-and-a-half year high of $1.97 as stronger ratings and a bigger slice of a larger free-to-air advertising pie contributed to half year profit growth. Flight Centre upgraded its full year profit guidance after its half-year profit improved by 23 per cent, and its shares gained 10.4 percent to $55.26.

Shares in online retailer Kogan.com jumped 19 percent to a record $8.60 as its growing customer numbers and expanding range of services delivered strong half year profit growth. A2 Milk hit fresh highs, rising another 7.1 percent as analysts upgraded their rating on the stock following Wednesday's announcement of its partnership with Fonterra. Infant formula maker Bellamy's Australia was one of the few stocks to fall after reporting, dropping 5.9 percent because of its warning of a softer second half of the year. Blackmores also lost ground, falling 14.7 percent to $136.00, after the vitamins producer's 20 percent half year profit growth came with warnings of a softer second half of the year.

Anchoring the market were Woodside Petroleum and AGL Energy, which both traded ex-dividend. Woodside shed 3.3 percent and AGL was 4.45 pe cent lower.

The Australian dollar fell early in the day following more interest rate hike signals out of the US Federal Reserve, which lifted the US dollar.

Equities / Fixed Interest Close Change % Change 
All Ordinaries 6058 10 0.17
S&P/ASX 200 5951 7 0.12
Currency Close Pts Change % Change 
$A vs $US 0.7810 0.0012 0.15
$A vs GBP 0.5612

0.0012

0.21
$A vs EUR 0.6362 0.0013 0.21
$A vs YEN 84.07 -0.54 -0.64
$A vs $NZ

1.0669

0.0015

0.14