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Davide Bosio speaks to Proactive Investors about dividend payments and share buyback schemes, as reporting season draws to a close.

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Australian shares fell across the board on Tuesday, led lower by the tech sector that had been the main gainer a day earlier.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 57.9 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 6,128.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries closed down 54.6 points, or 0.87 per cent, at 6,209.

Almost all sectors on the Australian market closed lower, with tech shares dropping 2.83 per cent.

Wesfarmers, Coca-Cola Amatil and Santos all went ex-dividend on Tuesday, and together the fall in their share price contributed 9.7 points to the dip in the ASX.

Shares in Pioneer Credit Ltd plummeted 29.55 per cent to $2.17, a 20-month low, after the debt acquisition company missed its half-year profit expectation.

Buy now, pay later service Afterpay shed some of Monday's 19 per cent gain after announcing a net first-half loss of $22.2 million on higher employment expenses and expansion in the US and UK.

The company closed down 11.46 per cent lower at $18.15, having surged to $20.50 at Monday's close on the back of regulatory relief.

Shares in waste manager Bingo Industries slid 5.86 per cent after its earnings fell on the property downturn.

Hub24 dropped 14.31 per cent despite a 46 per cent rise in net profits after tax, to $3.1 million.

But Speedcast International closed up 13.13 per cent to $3.79, a three-month high, after the broadband provider beat expectations.

Mining giant BHP was down 1.26 per cent, Rio Tinto was down 0.6 per cent and Fortescue Metals was up 0.47 per cent.

The big four banks were down between 0.49 per cent and 1.18 per cent, with ANZ down the most, at $27.69.

Estia was down 1.24 per cent after the aged care provider downgraded its full-year guidance.

Caltex was up 4.67 per cent after beating its guidance with a $558 million full-year profit.

Bingo Industries was up 4.30 per cent despite the waste manager confirming its half-year net profit fell 25 per cent.

Blackmores was down 3.92 per cent following an announcement that its chief executive, Richard Henfrey, was resigning after 18 months in the job.

International Markets

Wall Street's three major indexes fell slightly after a choppy session on Tuesday as investors eyed mixed US economic data and corporate news and waited for clarity on issues such as the US-China trade talks.

Weaker-than-expected housing data contrasted with a rosy consumer confidence report, while Home Depot Inc was among the biggest drags on the benchmark S&P 500 index after the home improvement retailer blamed bad weather for missed Wall Street forecasts.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told a US Senate Banking Committee that the central bank would remain "patient" in deciding on further interest rate hikes and that rising risks and recent soft data should not prevent solid growth for the economy this year.

The indexes have already been bolstered in recent weeks by trade optimism and dovish signals from the Fed, with the S&P 500's session high just 4.7 per cent away from its record closing high in September.

He cited issues such as a need for specifics on US-China trade relations after President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would delay an increase in US tariffs on Chinese goods after "productive" trade talks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 33.97 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 26,057.98, the S&P 500 lost 2.21 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 2,793.9 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.16 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 7,549.30.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors ended lower with industrials providing the biggest drag with a 0.3 per cent drop. The benchmark's biggest boost was the technology index, which closed up 0.2 per cent.

The healthcare index declined 0.3 percent after a U.S. congressional hearing on the prices of medicines wrapped up in Washington. Declines in shares of health insurers Cigna Corp and UnitedHealth Group, both of which operate major pharmacy benefit managers, were big drags on the sector.

The S&P's biggest losing stock was JPMorgan Chase & Co, which closed down 0.8 per cent after it warned of rising costs for deposits, a key part of its business, and slowing global economic growth.

Caterpillar Inc fell 2.4 per cent and also depressed the benchmark after brokerage UBS downgraded the stock to "sell" from a "buy" rating.

US homebuilding tumbled to a more than two-year low in December as construction of both single and multifamily housing declined, the latest sign that the economy had lost momentum in the fourth quarter.

Source: Morningstar

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