ASX 200 edges lower in opening trade; Tabcorp, Nufarm lead losses

The Australian stock market opened on a flat note on Tuesday despite a strong handover from Wall Street shares. The benchmark ASX 200 index dropped 0.12% to 7,140.30 points as gains in Materials, Consumer Discretionary and Financial sectors were offset by losses in IT, Telecom and Industrial stocks.   

Out of the 11 sectors in the market, only four were in the green today. While the losses were led by IT, Telecom, Utilities, Healthcare, Financials including the big four banks were offsetting the losses to some extent. Energy, Materials and Consumer Staples were the other sectors trading in the green in opening trade today.   

While strong commodity prices boosted the materials sector, IT stocks were impacted by valuation squeeze due to rising interest rates.  The IT sub-index of ASX was down over 2% in early morning trade.

On the previous day (23 May), the benchmark index closed 0.046% higher to 7,148.9 points. The ASX All Ordinaries index was down 0.02% to 7,397.7 points.  

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.98% to 31,880.24, while the S&P 500 jumped 1.86% to 3,973.75 points. The NASDAQ Composite ended the session 1.59% higher at 11,535.27. Dow Jones rebounded strongly due to a bank-led rally in New York, thus bolstering sentiment for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

Read More: How will a new government impact Australia-China relations?

Coming to the top ASX 200 gainers, Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN) and Virgin Money UK PLC (ASX:VUK) were leading the pack with 3.973% and 3.891% gains, respectively. On the flip side, Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX:TAH) and Nufarm Ltd. (ASX:NUF) were the top losers, falling 81.087% and 12.500%, respectively.


Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN)  

The share price of Australia’s largest airline Qantas Airways Limited is on investors’ radar after the airline carrier revealed via its announcement that it has bought a 51% stake in the online travel business TripADeal. The decision has been taken to expand Qantas’ presence in the online holiday booking market. 

Technology One Limited (ASX:TNE)

The share price of Australian software company TechnologyOne Limited caught investors’ attention on the back of a slew of announcements made by the company on the ASX board, which also included the company’s s financial results for the half-year ended 31 March 2022. 

During the period, the company’s profit after tax was up 18% to AU$33.2 million, while its software as a service (SaaS) annual recurring revenue (ARR) rose 44% to AU$225.1 million. Total revenue increased 19% to AU$172.5 million. 

Challenger Ltd (ASX:CGF)  

Today ASX-listed annuities and funds manager Challenger Ltd has updated its strategy as the company focuses on building a more diversified business that meets a greater range of customer needs.

The company has reaffirmed its FY22 normalised net profit before tax guidance and expects to be towards the upper end of the $430 million to $480 million guidance range.  

Read More: Challenger reaffirms FY22 net profit guidance; how are shares faring?

Gentrack Group Ltd (ASX:GTK)

Shares of Gentrack Group Ltd will be in focus on Tuesday as the company has made a series of announcements on the ASX board, which also included results for the half-year to 31 March 2022.

During this period, the company’s revenue stood at NZ$57.1 million, up 12.0% on H1’21. Revenue was driven by a 15.2% increase in the Utility business from new customer wins and growth from existing customers.

In view of the net loss, which widened to NZ$5.8 million, the company has decided not to pay an Interim Dividend.

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