The flat result for local stocks appears unflattering, although it was a solid result considering that Telstra and the CBA went ex-dividend , which took 20 points off the market.
In terms of the various sectors, miners held up well in the face of an easier iron ore price. In recent days the price of spot iron ore has eased by around 3.5%. With prices remaining close to $140, they remain well above expectations. This remains a key factor in the recent performance of the bulk producers.
BlueScope Steel was an example of how investors react when there is nothing to balance a lack of dividend. The Steelmaker posted an underlying profit of $30mln which was in line with the markets expectations. However it was the group's outlook that left investors unimpressed. BSL said that it expects the first half of 2014 to be no better than the second half of 2013. The company also announced the acquisition of Orrcon and Fielders from Hills Holdings for a sum of $87.5m Whilst the group wasn't expected to deliver a dividend, the combination with the cautious outlook saw sellers descend. The stock ended 14% lower.
BlueScope was a part of a broader theme on Monday where most names reporting results tended to leave investors a little cold. This is significant because companies that provide cautious or downbeat outlooks could be destined for the sin bin for a period.
Packaging group Amcor (AMC) reported a better than expected result. Net Profit came in at $689.5m which was an increase of 8.6% and better than the $672mln consensus figures. The currency impact saw profit hit to the tune of $13.8m.The group announced a dividend of 40c an increase of more than 8%.
The Fed and Q.E will remain squarely in focus this week. The central bank will convene it Jackson Hole meeting later in the week. The US economy is still expected to accelerate through the second half of 2013 . Parts of the US economy are performing well. Housing in particular continues to perform well. But the economy is not yet powering ahead. Modest acceleration is more the order the day. It remains to be seen whether or not the Fed has determined its tapering time table. Perhaps some details could be in the offing this week.
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