ASX 200 up 0.95%: Qantas update, Nufarm’s profits surge

EML Payments Ltd (ASX:EML) and Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) are making waves on the ASX 200 on Thursday…

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At lunch on Thursday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is rebounding from yesterday’s selloff. The benchmark index is currently up 0.95% to 6,998.5 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Nufarm half year results

The Nufarm Ltd (ASX: NUF) share price is pushing higher on Thursday after the release of the agricultural chemicals company’s half year results. For the six months ended 31 March, Nufarm reported revenue of $1.65 million and underlying EBITDA of $233.6 million. This represents an increase of 20% and 118%, respectively, over the prior corresponding period. However, management warned that its full year earnings would be significantly weighted to the first half.

Qantas update

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is ascending today following the release of a market update. That update reveals that a sustained rebound in domestic travel demand, and the performance of its Freight and Loyalty divisions, is continuing to drive the company’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it expects to be statutory free cash flow positive for the second half of FY 2021.

Travel agents tumble

Also included in Qantas’ market update was the revelation that it plans to cut travel agent commissions from 5% to 1% for international flights in 2022. This hasn’t gone down well with shareholders of travel agents including Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) and Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB). The shares of both travel companies are tumbling on the news.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the EML Payments Ltd (ASX: EML) share price with a 13% gain. The payments company’s shares are rebounding after crashing 45% lower on Wednesday. The worst performer has been the Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) share price with a 6% decline following a bleak update on its Sierre Rutile operation.

James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends EML Payments. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Webjet Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended EML Payments and Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. 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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