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Beat the market volatility with these 3 defensive ASX shares

With volatility in the Australian share market increasing in recent weeks, I think now is as good a time as ever to look into adding some defensive shares into your portfolio.

Three defensive shares which I think are great options are as follows:

ASX Ltd (ASX: ASX)

Thanks to its near-monopoly status, I think the operator of the Australian stock exchange is a great defensive share to have in your portfolio. Its market-leading position has allowed the company to successfully grow its bottom line each year for the last five years. Following a solid first-half result, I expect another year of growth ahead for both its earnings and its dividend. Another bonus is that its shares provide a trailing fully franked 3.9% dividend.

InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC)

InvoCare is the largest operator of funerals and cemetery services in Australia and currently commands a 33% share of the market. As well as its defensive characteristics, I believe the company is in a strong position to deliver solid and predictable earnings growth thanks to Australia’s ageing population. Finally, whilst it isn’t necessarily the biggest yield on the market, InvoCare provides a solid trailing fully franked 2.9% dividend.

Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)

In my opinion Sydney Airport is another defensive share with the wind in its sails. The most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that in April Australia welcomed 727,600 short-term arrivals. This was a year-on-year increase of 7.7%. As the main gateway into Australia I believe the airport will benefit greatly from the ever-increasing number of arrivals into the country. Sydney Airport’s shares provide a trailing unfranked 4.4% dividend.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

*Returns as of June 30th

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of ASX Limited and Sydney Airport Holdings Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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