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QBE - QBE Insurance News Story

A$8.83 -0.1  -0.6%

Last Trade - 29/05/20

Large Cap
Market Cap £6.21bn
Enterprise Value £8.52bn
Revenue £11.85bn
Position in Universe 42nd / 1842

Australia shares edge up, buoyed by BHP and QBE

Tue 24th February, 2015 3:04am
(Adds quotes, stocks on the move) By Cecile Lefort and Gyles Beckford SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged up on Tuesday, recouping earlier losses as investors shrugged off a decline in earnings from some resources and financial firms. The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO rose 11.9 points to 5,921.0 by 02:31 GMT, within sight of a seven-year peak of 5,946.8 touched last week. Basic materials lead the gains with packaging firm Orora ORA.AX up nearly 6 percent after it reported a 23 percent increase in net profit. ID:nL4N0VY066 It scaled a record peak of A$2.23 to be last at A$2.14. Global miner BHP Billiton BHP.AX jumped 2.5 percent to A$32.940, having briefly skidded after posting a 31 percent drop in half-year profit. Yet, it beat market forecasts and flagged further belt-tightening to withstand tough conditions. ID:nL4N0VT3GF The country's largest insurer, QBE Insurance Group QBE.AX , bounced 5.3 percent to its highest in five months even though its annual profit fell short of estimates. ID:nL4N0VX4I1 Steven Daghlian, a market analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said the focus was now on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony later on Tuesday and Wednesday with much uncertainty over whether Yellen would echo the dovish tone of the last Fed meeting or reaffirm June for its first rate hike. Flight Centre Travel Group FLT.AX was the top outperformer even as it reported a decline in net profit. ID:nWNBS00US7 The company reaffirmed it would achieve its 2014/15 profit guidance, sending its shares 10 percent higher to A$38.800, a peak not seen in more than three months. Flight Centre issued a profit warning in December. New Zealand stocks were weaker with the benchmark NZX-50 index .NZ50 down 0.4 percent at 5733.22, as a mixed bag of company results and weakness in energy stocks weighed. Part-privatised power company Mighty River Power MRP.NZ slipped 2.5 percent to NZ$3.29 after it reported a sharp fall in first-half profit as it took a hit from exiting overseas geothermal businesses. ID:nWNBS00URC Fellow energy stock Genesis Energy GNE.NZ was down 1.3 percent to NZ$2.23 as it reported a strong lift in profit but said it faces headwinds in reaching its full year earnings forecast. ID:nWNBS00UR4 The softness spread to other listed power stocks - Contact Energy < CEN.NZ> and Meridian Energy MELCA.NZ - with the market's energy sub-index 0#.NZEY down 0.9 percent. Among other reporting companies, agribusiness PGG Wrightson PGG.NZ rose more than 2 percent to a four-year high of NZ$0.53 after reporting a 47 percent increase in first-half profit. ID:nWNBS00UR6 (Editing by Eric Meijer)
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