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ASX falls 0.7%; CBA drops 8%, major miners lower

Daily Market Update (72)

ASX weak on CBA tumble, AUD falls on weak wage data, Seven, Seek upgrades
 
The S&P/ASX200 (ASX: XJO) finished 0.7 per cent lower on Wednesday, with market behemoth the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) dropping over 8 per cent and dragging the financial sector down 2.7 per cent along with it.
 
Most other sectors were higher led by the IT and communications sector which gained over 1 per cent each.
 
CBA shares fell below $100 for the first time in months after delivering a strong full year profit but highlighting growing cost pressures.
 
The company saw profit increase 20 per cent for the year to $2.2 billion on the back of loans remaining above banking system growth levels.
 
That said, analysts were clearly concerned about comments around the fall in the net interest margin amid growing home loan competition and more borrowers switching to lower margin fixed rate loans.
 
The bank remains the standout in Australia, but the report is evidencing the growing pressures facing the sector as the cost of capital increases and competition from fintechs grow.
 
On a macroeconomic level, the Australian Dollar fell heavily after the RBA’s comments on wage growth were vindicated with weaker than expected growth of just 2.2 per cent in the quarter.
 
Seven benefits from market share, Seek job ad records, Plenti lending doubles
 
Seven Group (ASX: SVW) shares gained close to 2 per cent after management confirmed earnings for 2022 will be between 7 to 10 per cent above consensus forecasts of $260 million.
 
The company has benefitted from growing its free to air market share to around 40 per cent and sees continuing improvement in advertising spend as a result.
 
Seek Ltd (ASX: SEK) fell 1.3 per cent despite indicating profit will be at the upper end of their $425 to $450 million forecast range, with revenue expected near $1 billion for the full year.
 
The company highlighted strong job advertisement volumes as being central to the upgrade, however, the question remains whether there are enough workers willing and ready to take them or if this is a short-term surge in openings. 
 
Shares in renewable energy and vehicle lender Plenti (ASX: PLT) fell by more than 4 per cent despite announcing a record half year for revenue, which jumped 43 per cent to $37 million.
 
The company has seen their loan book double in the last 12 months to $915 million with originals nearly tripling, up 183 per cent over the same period. 
 
US markets weaken, Amazon bans Visa, Target sales surge
 
All three US markets finished lower on Wednesday led down by the Dow Jones, which fell 0.6 per cent as oil prices continued their retreat.
 
The S&P500 and Nasdaq were stronger in comparison falling 0.3 per cent respectively as the technology sector benefitted from a weakening in bond yields.
 
Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Biden are said to have discussed releasing oil stockpiles in order to reduce fuel prices that are impacting consumers directly.
 
Shares in retailer Target (NYSE: TGT) fell close to 5 per cent despite delivering a 50 per cent increase in quarterly revenue on 2020 levels on a 13 per cent increase in foot traffic at their stores.
 
Online sales continued to surge, up 29 per cent on the prior year.
 
Amazon (NYSE: AMZN) ended broadly flat after announcing they would no longer accept payments from Visa (NYSE: V) cards in the UK due to the high commission rates they charge; shares in Visa fell around 5 per cent on the news. 

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