ASX down 0.6% as heavyweights drag; Blackmores up 8%

asx down 0 6 as heavyweights drag blackmores up 8

The S&P/ASX 200 is down 0.4 per cent around lunch time at 6810 points with large swings among some of the companies reporting results.

The materials sector is down 1.1 per cent. While not the biggest decline, its weight in the market is dragging. Financials are down 0.3 per cent. Only consumer staples and utilities are higher today.

The largest decline is with communications, down 2.5 per cent, while information technology is down 1.9 per cent.

Communications is being dragged down by a 6.6 per cent fall in SEEK and a 10.5¢ fall in Telstra to $3.12 after going ex dividend by 8¢. These declines are off-set by a 6.9 per cent rise in Nine Entertainment, publisher of this blog.

Information technology has followed a 0.5 per cent decline on the Nasdaq last night, with the tech-heavy index now down 4.5 per cent from all-time highs on 12 February. On the ASX, Appen is down 8.5 per cent, Afterpay is down 3.8 per cent at a three-week low of $133.23, and Xero is down 1.2 per cent.

Vitamins giant Blackmores is keen for COVID-19 vaccines to rollout and Australian borders to reopen, with the wellness firm losing around half of its retail sales from international students and global tourists over the past six months.

The firm has posted a 4 per cent jump in profit for the first half but revenues in its Australian and New Zealand business declined 10 per cent as local retail was hit hard by a lack of visiting shoppers…

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