After a shaky start, the ASX200 has firmed up about half a percent, buoyed by the Financial, Property and Discretionary Sectors. The big four banks have pushed up from the open and the much watched Commonwealth Bank traded near the $90 level, springing off its lows.
After reporting their full year results today, Caltex announced a 50 cents per share dividend, almost 3 times the 17 cents dividend for the same period last year, taking the full year dividend to 70 cents. The company said that its balance sheet remains strong as it has reduced debt and working capital levels with the closure of its Kurnell refinery. After trading up 2.3% in early trading, the stock down marginally coming into the close. Today provided a chance for profit takers to step in since the stock price has almost doubled in the last 6 months.
Looking ahead, we have China’s PMI reading Wednesday and US GDP numbers towards the end of the week. With BHP and QBE reporting tomorrow and other household names such as Qantas and Woolworths later in the week, it will be interesting to see if the Australian market can hold the 5.5% gain since the reporting season began. The more important question is if the market can push higher to the psychological level of 6000, which is only 60 points from the peak of last week.
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