Aussie shares are coming under some pressure at lunch, with the ASX 200 slipping by 0.3 per cent. Underwhelming economic news in China at 12pm AEST failed to help. Losses from Telstra (TLS) and National Australia Bank (NAB) are holding back the market most. Despite the modest pullback, local stocks remain near four-month highs and have improved for 10 of the past 13 trading days.
Telstra (TLS) is adding to yesterday’s 4 per cent slump after warning of lower profits this year. The country’s biggest telco is down by 3.3 per cent.
National Bank (NAB) is down by 3 per cent or $0.87 as it trades ex-dividend. The bank will be paying out a $0.99/share interim dividend to eligible investors on 5 July. The ex-dividend date is the cut-off for those wanting to receive dividend payments and tends to push stocks with larger dividends lower.
Infant formula stocks are mostly lower. Bellamy’s (BAL) and Bubs Australia (BUB) are both down ~1.5 per cent. Coles is reportedly planning to keep tins of baby formula on shelves behind service desks or tagged with electronic surveillance lids in a bid to control bulk purchasing.
Specialty Fashion (SFH) is down 2.5 per cent. Keep in mind the retailer surged by 57 per cent on Monday on news it will sell its underperforming brands to Noni B for $31m in cash.
Not including NAB, the other banks are lifting. CBA is up 0.9 per cent, ANZ Bank (ANZ) and Macquarie (MQG) are recouping a small portion of yesterday’s losses after trading ex-dividend on Monday while Westpac (WBC) is up ahead of Thursday’s exdividend.
BlueScope Steel (BSL) is up 1.5 per cent after lifting guidance for 2H earnings by 12 per cent to $680m. It has partly attributed this to strong steel margins in the US.
Lynas (LYC) is up 2.5 per cent as it tried to reassure investors the recent change in Malaysia’s government (the first change since its independence) will not negatively impact its operations.
Link (LNK) is up 6 per cent. The company said the potential impact from proposed Budget changes could hit revenue by ~$55m this year. Its shares are still down 12 per cent since last Tuesday’s Budget.
The latest weekly consumer confidence reading rose by 1 per cent to a 14-week high according to survey results out this morning. Retail stocks are mostly firmer.
1.6bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $2.4bn. 494 stocks are up, 566 are down and 369 are flat.
Published by CommSec