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ASX ends trading early, ASX 200 up 1.2%

The ASX hit technical difficulties, causing it to halt trading and finish early. The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) rose by 1.2% today.
The post ASX ends trading early, ASX 200 up 1.2% appeared first on Motley Fool Australia. –

ASX 200

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) went up by 1.2% today to 6,484 points.

However, that rise was achieved in early trading and then the ASX halted transactions for the rest of the day due to technical problems.

Before the ASX’s normal trading, it said that ASX equity markets will not open for the remainder of today. The underlying cause of the issue has been identified and a resolution path is in place to allow trading to commence tomorrow at 10am.

BWX Ltd (ASX: BWX)

BWX held its annual general meeting today. At the AGM the company said that it expects FY21 first half revenue for Mineral Fusion to be down but it’s focused on achieving a recovery in the second half.

BWX also announced a strategic partnership with THG, which is a global technology platform specialising in taking brands direct to consumers to grow BWX in Europe and Asia.

THG will provide a full service solution including localised digital capabilities for taking BWX brands direct to consumers. It’s initially targeting five priority markets, which will increase to 14 markets in FY22.

The aim of this agreement is to help BWX reach its revenue target of $30 million to $50 million for Europe by the end of FY23.

BWX’s chief operating officer Rory Gration said the partnership was important for bringing BWX’s product innovation to more consumers at a time when the natural beauty category is thriving:

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with THG, as we leverage the already-strong consumer connection to our brands Sukin and Andalou Naturals in the UK market over recent years.

“Combining BWX’s house of natural brands and insights with THG’s digital services, cross-border expertise and sophisticated technology means we can build more meaningful footprints in what is a fast-evolving retail environment.”

The BWX share price rose 3.7% today, in the early trading that was possible.

ASIC report about the buy now, pay later (BNPL) industry

ASIC released a report into the BNPL sector today. Both Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) made announcements relating to this.

Both of them pointed out that they don’t rely on late fees to generate most of their revenue.

Afterpay said that ASIC’s consumer research identified the potential for financial stress among users of different financial products categorised as BNPL. Afterpay’s own research of 144,000 of Afterpay customers found there is no casual link between spending on Afterpay and changes in spending on essentials.

The ASX 200 BNPL company said that the report highlights that ASIC’s new product intervention power and the forthcoming design and distribution obligations, which focus on consumer outcomes and harms rather than imposing prescriptive compliance obligations, will play an important role in promoting good consumer outcomes. ASIC also commented that there is a significant role for industry self-regulation with broad industry support and commitment to ensure good consumer outcomes.

The ASIC data shows that 20% of customers have missed a payment.

Zip co-founder Peter Gray said that whilst it’s good that the industry is developing a code of practice, “while we believe the code is a very good start, Zip will continue to implement its own higher standards, particularly around customer suitability.”

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

The ASX 200 healthcare giant said that it’s going to build a new influenza vaccine manufacturing facility.

Seqirus, a subsidiary of CSL, plans to invest more than $800 million into the construction of this Melbourne-based facility to supply influenza vaccines to Australia and the rest of the world.

This investment decision follows the agreement with the Australian government for the supply over 10 years of influenza pandemic protection for the Australian population, anti-venoms for Australian snakes, spiders and marine creatures and Q-fever vaccine.

The new facility will be built at the Melbourne Airport Business Park will use innovative cell-based technology to produce influenza vaccines for both seasonal and pandemic purposes.

CSL CEO Paul Perreault said: “Providing safe and effective influenza vaccines is essential in securing our defences against serious public health threats.

“The facility will be an important addition to our global influenza manufacturing supply chain, incorporating the technology platform used in our Holly Springs, North Carolina facility.”

CSL explained that cell-influenza vaccine technology offers many advantages like being more scalable and offering faster production, particularly for influenza pandemics.

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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 CSL Ltd. and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended BWX Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The post ASX ends trading early, ASX 200 up 1.2% appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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