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Australian shares are off to a rough start, with the ASX 200 slipping by 0.5 per cent and falling back below 6000pts after closing above the key psychological barrier yesterday. News of a Royal Commission into the financial services industry this morning is pushing the banks down by as much as 2 per cent, in addition to insurers and wealth managers. Since the financial industry accounts for ~36 per cent of the Australian sharemarket on its own, it is singlehandedly pushing equities lower.
Ahead of tonight’s OPEC meeting in Vienna the price of oil fell by 1.2 per cent overnight which is a weight on energy stocks. Depending on the outcome of the conversation in relation to supply cuts, oil prices, energy stocks and fuel prices could be impacted in coming months.
OrotonGroup (ORL) has gone into voluntary administration and will be suspended from ASX trade. After a six month strategic review due to challenging conditions the upmarket retailer has been unable to find a viable solution to turn the business around. Administrators will now work on options to restructure, recapitalise or sell the iconic brand. ORL stores will continue to operate.
Woolworths (WOW) shares are down 0.4 per cent. The ACCC was scheduled to make a decision on whether or not to allow BP’s purchase of its service stations today. The competition watchdog said it needs two more weeks to consider further information from parties and expects to hand down its decision on 14 Dec 17.
Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) is down by ~5 per cent despite the poker machine game maker annnouncing a 41 per cent lift in profit to $495m in FY17 (consensus $494.8m). Revenue rose by 15 per cent and it will be paying out a bigger 20c/share final dividend. ALL also announced the acquisition of social-gaming company Big Fish Games for US$900m.
Collins Foods (CKF) is bouncing back from yesterday’s 5 per cent pullback which was triggered by a near 20 per cent drop in half year profits. The operator of more than 200 KFC restaurants is up by 3.2 per cent.
Shares have improved by ~0.9 per cent in Nov making it the second straight month of gains. Technology and energy stocks have fared best while banks and telcos have fallen most. Almost all this year’s gains have been recorded in the past nine weeks.
2.3bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $3bn. 480 stocks are up, 587 down and 363 are unchanged.
China’s latest update on its manufacturing and services sectors have improved slightly. Manufacturing PMI has improved from 51.6 to 51.8 while services rose from 54.3 to 54.8. A reading above 50.0 indicates industry expansion and was a touch above market expectations.
Originally published by CommSec