AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SINK

Australian stocks fell hard.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,288.60 -91.59 -1.70%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,295.50 -84.33 -1.57%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7321 -0.0027 -0.37%

On Wall St, the S&P 500 closed down 0.8% overnight. On the local market, all ten sectors were lower, more than wiping out Wednesday’s 1.45% gain.

A series of results, including the return to profit of Qantas, did nothing to help investor sentiment.

The Commonwealth Bank, which went ex-dividend Tuesday, was down 2.7% to $76.15 and the ANZ bank was off 2.38% to $29.13.

Energy stocks collectively lost more than 5% in value, with Woodside Petroleum down $3.56% to $31.69 and Santos more than 7% to $5.61. Among the miners, BHP lost 3.1% to $24.38 and Rio Tinto 2.45% to $49.41.

The top stories for Thursday:

1. The big turnaround. Qantas posts a full year underlying profit of $975 million, reversing last year’s record $2.8 billion loss. The best six months in the history of Qantas. And Qantas is making a huge bet that oil prices have further to fall. Qantas initially jumped 3% but at the close had lost more than 6% to $3.53.

2. Coles is surging ahead. Wesfarmers, which today posted an 8.3% rise in full net profit to $2.44 billion, released numbers showing its supermarket Coles growing faster than competitor Woolworths. Wesfarmers closed up more than 1% to $40.86.

3. Origin Energy sold down. The energy group announced a $658 million annual loss and plans to cut 800 staff. Origin closed down more than 13% to $8.60.

4. Wealth management group AMP is increasing its dividend payout after lifting profit by 33% to $507 million for the half year to the end of June. AMP was down 1.75% to $6.17.

5. Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes has an incredible plan for Sydney’s tech startup community. Also the government’s head is so deep in the sand, we’ll pay for it over decades.

6. APN News and Media announced a 67% fall in net profit to $7.5 million for the six months to the end of June. APN lost 12.8% to close at $0.57.

7. A stroke risk. Science has come up with another reason why you should ease back on those long working days.

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