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ASX 200 down 0.4%: Macquarie impresses, Challenger disappoints, & Suncorp rises

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG) and Challenger Ltd (ASX:CGF) shares are taking the headlines on the ASX 200 on Tuesday…
The post ASX 200 down 0.4%: Macquarie impresses, Challenger disappoints, & Suncorp rises appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

At lunch on Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has failed to follow the lead of US markets and is dropping lower. The benchmark index is currently down 0.4% to 6,854.3 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Macquarie update impresses

The Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) share price is jumping higher today after investors responded very positively to the release of its third quarter update. According to the update, Macquarie experienced improvements in trading across its business during the three months ended 31 December. This led to growth across both its annuity-style businesses and markets-facing businesses compared to the prior corresponding period. Looking ahead, management expects to report a full year profit result slightly down on FY 2020.

Challenger disappoints

The Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) share price is sinking lower today following the release of its half year results. For the six months ended 31 December, Challenger reported annuity sales of $2.2 billion and total life sales of $3.4 billion. This was a 12% and 10% increase, respectively, over the prior corresponding period. Despite the sales growth, Challenger reported a normalised net profit before tax (NPBT) of $196 million, down 30% on the same period last year. This fell short of the market’s expectations.

Suncorp half year results

The Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) share price is pushing higher today after delivering a better than expected half year result. For the six months ended 31 December, Suncorp reported a 39.5% increase in half year cash profit to $509 million. This allowed the Suncorp board to declare a fully franked interim dividend of 26 cents per share.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The worst performer on the ASX 200 on Tuesday by some distance is the Challenger share price with an 13% decline. This follows the release of its half year update. The best performer has been the Macquarie share price with a 7% gain following its stronger than expected quarterly update.

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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 Challenger Limited and Macquarie Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post ASX 200 down 0.4%: Macquarie impresses, Challenger disappoints, & Suncorp rises appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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