Australian share market on track for 3rd week of losses

The Australian share market looks set to snap its three-day losing streak, but is still on track for its third week of losses as earnings season comes to an end.

At noon AEDT on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 26.9 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 7,312.3.

The broader All Ordinaries was up 27.2 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 7,519.7

Before the afternoon session, the ASX200 was down 0.47 per cent for the week.

Every sector except mining and health care was higher, with tech, property, industrials and utilities up by more than 1.0 per cent.

In the heavyweight mining sector, BHP was down 0.8 per cent to $46.325, Rio Tinto fell 2.1 per cent to $120.80 and Fortescue Metals edged 0.2 per cent lower to $22.79.

The big banks were higher, led by CBA, which rose 1.1 per cent to $100.99. ANZ, Westpac and NAB were up by between 0.2 per cent to 0.4 per cent.

Brambles was up 7.5 per cent to a more than three-year high of $12.98 after the pallet container company announced its first-half profit after tax had risen 9.0 per cent to $US331.1 million ($486m).

“This is an outstanding result for Brambles, with the business delivering strong revenue and profit growth with operating leverage despite the challenging external environment and ongoing inflationary pressures,” CEO Graham Chipchase said.

Avita Medical had grown 19.4 per cent to an 11-month high of $3.14 after CEO Jim Corbett declared that 2023 would be Avita’s “year of inflection”, with US Food and Drug Administration approvals expected in June for its soft tissue repair and vitiligo indications, “which we believe will be transformative for our company”.

Block was up 8.1 per cent to $117.77 after the Afterpay owner announced that its fourth-quarter gross profit rose 40 per cent to $US1.66 billion.

Omni Bridgeway plunged 213.4 per cent to $2.78 a day after the litigation financing company announced a half-year net loss of $30.1m and the retirement of CEO Andrew Saker.

Cogstate dropped 20.3 per cent to $1.295 after the dementia assessment company downgraded guidance, saying the Alzheimer’s trials by its pharmaceutical company partners were progressing slower than expected.

Overall, the results of Australian earnings season demonstrate the resilience of company performance despite fears about inflation, recession and rate hikes, said Reece Birtles, chief investment officer Martin Currie, an active equities investment manager that’s part of Franklin Templeton.

“”There has been an overwhelming number of sales/revenue results in line with consensus expectations with an even balance of earnings/dividend surprises and disappointments,” he wrote.

A few more companies will report early next week, including Woodside Energy on Monday and Harvey Norman on Tuesday.

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