At lunch on Friday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has failed to follow the lead of U.S. markets and is dropping lower. The benchmark index is currently down 0.3% to 6,154.3 points.
Here’s what has been happening today:
NAB provisions update
The National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price is pushing higher despite announcing a number of items that will impact its upcoming second half results. According to the release, the bank’s second half earnings will be reduced by a net increase in provisions and impairments of $642 million before tax. The biggest contributor to this is customer-related remediation matters of $380 million before tax.
The BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) share price is surging higher on Friday after the steel producer revealed that its performance has improved materially in FY 2021. BlueScope released a trading update which revealed that it expects to report underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $340 million for the first half. This will be a 30% increase on the second half of FY 2020 and a 12.4% lift on the prior corresponding period.
Webjet pushes higher.
The Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price is pushing higher today following the release of a trading update. That update revealed that the online travel agent’s bookings and transaction value are still down materially from pre-COVID levels. The WebBeds business, for example, reported total transaction value (TTV) of 12% of 2019’s levels for the first week of October. Two big positives, though, were that Webjet’s cash burn is lower than forecast and its Webjet OTA business is winning market share.
Best and worst ASX 200 performers.
The BlueScope share price is the best performer on the ASX 200 today with an 11% gain. This follows the release of its guidance for the first half. The worst performer has been the Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) share price with a 46% decline. However, this relates to the demerger of its royalties business which has taken place today.
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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Webjet Ltd. 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 Scott Phillips.
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