ASX 200 sinks 2.4%, Afterpay plunges, AMP jumps

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) sank by 2.4% today. The Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT) share price plunged, but AMP Limited (ASX:AMP) went up.

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ASX 200

Credit: Cimexus

It was a painful day for the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) as it fell around 2.4% to 6,673 points.

Reporting season has now finished for another six months, though there will be a few more over the next few weeks with businesses that don’t have December 2020 end dates for their reports.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX:

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price

The Afterpay share price fell by 11% today, it was one of the worst falls, but not the biggest.

Most of the ASX went into the red today, but Afterpay suffered heavily after returning to trade from its trading halt for its notes offering and the release of its FY21 half-year result.

Indeed, most of the buy now, pay later sector saw heavy declines today. The Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) share price fell by another 5%.

The Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL) share price finished 2.9% lower after reporting, though it had been down more than 10%. Splitit Ltd (ASX: SPT) also reported today, it saw a share price fall of 3.8%.

AMP Limited (ASX: AMP)

The best performer in the ASX 200 was AMP.

It announced that AMP and Ares Management intend to pursue a joint venture partnership for AMP Capital’s private markets businesses of infrastructure equity and infrastructure debt, real estate and other minority investments.

In the proposed transaction, Ares would acquire 60% of private markets and assume management control, with AMP retaining 40%. The two businesses are going to enter into a 30-day period of exclusivity, to work towards a binding transaction.

Ares will be acquiring its stake for $1.35 billion, valuing the whole private markets joint venture business at $2.25 billion. This values AMP Capital’s entire private markets business at up to $3.15 billion.

Orica Ltd (ASX: ORI)

The Orica share price has fallen 18% today, it was the worst performer in the ASX 200.

Today, the company announced that CEO and managing director Alberto Calderon will step down from his position after almost six years in the role. The new person in charge will be Sanjeev Gandhi, who is currently group executive and President of Australian Pacific Asia.

The company also gave a market update.

It said that a number of factors were going to reduce earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) in the first half of FY21.

Mining activity earnings is going to be reduced by between $70 million to $80 million because of the trade tension between Australia and China which is impacting demand for its higher margin Australian thermal coal market.

In the first half of FY21, demand for Orica’s products and services from affected mines is expected to be approximately 60 thousand tonnes of ammonium nitrate lower than the prior corresponding period.

COVID-19 is also causing difficulties with mine disruptions and closures in Colombia, Europe, Africa, Mexico and Indonesia.

Foreign exchange impacts are being observed by the strengthening Australian dollar, hurting earnings to the tune of $20 million to $25 million.

There are also additional items amounting to $15 million to $20 million because of further arbitration costs relating to the Barrup plant and additional SAP system stabilisation costs in the first half.

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Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends Sezzle Inc. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sezzle Inc. 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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