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Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT) hits $100

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ASX lower as mining and financials hit, Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT) hits $100, RBA Minutes released
 
The ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) fell 0.7% on Tuesday, giving back yesterday’s gains on a weaker global lead. Mining, down 1.1% and financials, -1.2%, were the biggest detractors as valuations continue to bite.

BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) offered a quarterly production update with iron expanding 8% but all other commodities slowing production as COVID restrictions hit operations.

Management have put the expansion of Olympic Dam on hold and continue to seek acquisition opportunities.

This was a solid result for BHP and bodes well for the sustained dividend with full year guidance now in range; shares finished 1.6% lower.

Cochlear Ltd (ASX:COH) held their AGM and despite reporting a core implant revenue was 6% down on 2019 the market reacted positively, gaining 2.3%.

Despite being a high quality business, COH remains narrower than CSL and hence faces a difficult period if elective surgery remains slow for an extended period.
 
Afterpay and Zip Co (ASX:ZIP) both making deals, Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) feeling the brunt of lockdowns, Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) in trouble
 
The BNPL sector, one where Australia is truly a global leader, saw a flurry of news today.

Afterpay and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) announced a deal that would allow Afterpay users to easily open Westpac accounts.

The news sent APT shares 4.4% higher and over $100 but WBC fell 1.4%.

The release of the RBA Minutes was the biggest news of the day, highlighted that the bank would focus on actual not expected inflation, a huge change in central bank circles, but seemingly common sense to the rest of us.

This effectively guarantees that rates will remain lower for at least the next few years, meaning bank net interest margins will remain under pressure.

Tabcorp Holdings Ltd (ASX:TAH) is feeling the brunt of the Victorian lockdowns as the Spring Racing Carnival nears.

The group reported a 5.7% fall in revenue driven by a 55% fall in spending as its Victorian network has been shuttered. This despite improving online betting and most major sport continuing as planned.
 
US markets finish higher, positive lead for the ASX Google facing landmark court case
 
Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq shrugged of more toing and froing on a stimulus package, with the deadline due today. They finished 0.5% and 0.4% higher respectively.

The news of the day was the US Justice Department’s decision to commence antitrust action against Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Google Search business.

They say the companies is using its 90% market share to stifle competition.

This has been a long time coming and something we will discuss in today’s Market Thinker’s series with Nick Griffin of Munro Partners; shares finished over 1% higher on the news.

Suisse investment bank UBS (SWX:UBSG) delivered its best quarterly result in a decade, profit increasing 92% to $2.6 billion, albeit off a low base.

The result is highlighted the huge difference between traditional loan and deposit banks, versus more active investment banks.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is due to report after the market closes.




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