Aussie shares have shrugged off strong gains from North American markets overnight and have focused instead on concerns of trade tensions between the US and China. The ASX 200 is down 0.14 per cent, is easing for the fourth day and sits near six-month lows.
This morning President Trump released the list of ~1300 products included in the 25 per cent tariffs on US$50bn of Chinese imports into the US. There is a focus on high-tech items including lithium batteries and semiconductors but also on medical imports, defense, transport and steel products. Reports this morning suggest China is preparing to take countermeasures of equal intensity to the US in relation to trade tariffs.
Most sectors are losing ground, with the banks the main weight. Commonwealth Bank (CBA), Westpac (WBC) and ANZ are all trading near their lowest levels in 1.5 years while Telstra (TLS) is at its worst levels since September 2011.
Santos (STO) is down 0.7 per cent after a $13.5bn takeover offer yesterday pushed its shares up 16 per cent Tuesday. US company Harbour Energy made its fourth offer for the oil and gascompany in six months; approx. $300m above its latest bid made last month. STO said it is in the interest of shareholders to engage further with Harbour this time.
The healthcare sector is standing out thanks to CSL Limited (CSL) lifting by 1.5 per cent. In the mining sector, Fortescue Metals (FMG) is a strong performer, rising by 2 per cent.
Murray Goulburn (MGC) is up 1 per cent after the ACCC approved Canadian company Saputo’s bid for the dairy group.
A2 Milk (A2M) is up 4 per cent and continues to eat away at last week’s 10 per cent slump which was triggered by concerns of Nestle releasing a competing product in China. Yesterday A2M reassured investors it is well placed in China.
St Barbara Mines (SBM) has invested $4m in Duketon Mining (DKM). DKM shares are up 20 per cent and said the investment allows the group to ‘continue to aggressively explore its extensive gold and nickel prospects’.
Crown (CWN), Automotive Holdings (AHG) and Downer (DOW) will be paying investors dividends today. Around $5bn in dividends will be distributed this week from companies including Wesfarmers (WES), Woolies (WOW), South32 (S32) and Fortescue (FMG).
1.7bn shares have changed hands so far worth $2.6bn. 505 stocks are up, 529 down and 345 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec