Aussie shares are lifting for a second day and for the sixth time in eight sessions as gains from most sectors help push the ASX 200 up 0.4 per cent. Hefty losses from mining stocks due to a tumble in some commodities is largely being offset by improvements elsewhere.
Last night, US markets finished largely flat ahead of profit results from some of the world’s biggest companies in coming days. Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Exxon, Chevron, Boeing, General Motors and Twitter are included. Higher US interest rates weighed on some stocks while the US opening the door to sanction relief on Russia pushed aluminium lower.
Aluminium slumped by 7.5 per cent which has been a weight on South32 (S32) and Alumina (AWC). Both companies have been in the red in the order of 10 per cent so far today.
Fortescue Metals (FMG) is down 4 per cent after shipping a little less iron ore over the past three months due to bad weather and extended maintenance work. Iron ore shipments fell by 4 per cent to 38.7mt.
Building products maker Boral (BLD) is down 7 per cent following a trading update this morning which highlighted softer than expected Australian earnings in the March quarter. It blamed this on a kiln outage at Berrima NSW, challenging conditions in Western Australia and rain in Queensland.
Myer (MYR) is slipping by ~1 per cent following an 8.5 per cent surge on Monday thanks to the appointment of a experienced CEO from the UK.
While the banks are mostly firmer, AMP Limited (AMP) remains a weight as it slides by 2.7 per cent. The money manager has slumped by almost 20 per cent this month after facing the Royal Commission.
On the economic front the highlight is the latest quarterly inflation data. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.4 per cent in the March quarter and 1.9 per cent over the year. This compares to the expected 0.5 per cent lift in quarterly prices and 2 per cent on an annual basis. This is below the RBA’s target range of 2-3 per cent and should have the central bank feel comfortable with rates remaining steady for now. This pushed the Australian dollar a little lower.
1.8bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.3bn. 501 stocks are up, 496 down and 359 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec