ASX falls on Tuesday as companies release half yearly profits

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The Australian sharemarket fell again on Tuesday as many companies continue to release half yearly results.

The benchmark ASX 200 index fell by 0.2 per cent, or 11.3 points, to finish the session at 7603.6 points.

The broader All Ordinaries also dropped 12.5 points, or 0.16 per cent, to close at 7847 points.

Seven of 11 sectors dropped at the close on Tuesday.

Healthcare was the biggest sector to suffer, falling by 1.6 per cent as a result of CSL dropping by 2.8 per cent.

It comes off the back of Monday’s reporting that the biotech company was scrapping phase three trial for a drug designed to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events.

Despite the setback, CSL handed down its half year result on Tuesday recording a net profit $1.94bn – or an increase of 20 per cent – in its revenue after plasma collection and collection costs were financially viable this season.

“CSL’s share price has come a long way from the October $228.65 low, and last week ran into solid downtrend resistance at $306, from the February 2020 $342.75 high,” market analyst Tony Sycamore said.

Meanwhile, utilities was the best performing sector increasing by 0.7 per cent.

Challenger Group Limited was the top performer of the day, increasing by 8.4 per cent.

It was closely followed by Beach Energy with a 6.7 increase and Emerald Resources on 6.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, NAB’s monthly business survey showed business confidence remained low in January, following a dip in the services sector.

“The gradual easing in business conditions continued in January, with the headline conditions index now just below its long-run average,” NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster said.

“Both profitability and trading conditions are now below average with conditions supported somewhat by still above-average employment conditions.

“The easing in conditions in January was led by a pullback in the services sectors though conditions in retail also remain weak.

“Confidence remains weak as it has for some time, consistent with ongoing pressures across the economy with growth clearly slowing in the back half of 2023, and cost growth still high notwithstanding some easing over H2 2023.”

The Australian dollar fell 0.17 per cent to finish at US65.19c late on Tuesday.

Overseas, the S & P 500 dropped 0.1 per cent, to 5022 at the close, while the Dow Jones gained 0.3 per cent to hit a new high of 38,797 points.

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