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Aussie shares are off to a slow start on Monday, with losses from the banks and healthcare stocks pushing the ASX 200 index down 0.1 per cent at lunch. Keep in mind that last week was the best weekly performance in a year and a half for local equities, with the index surging by more than 2 per cent.
Last week the banks and healthcare stocks stood out, surging by 5 per cent. So far today these have been the two hardest hit sectors, with profit taking pushing them both lower.
Energy stocks and miners are offsetting a healthy portion of these losses. Oil prices recorded their biggest daily lift since late 2016, surging by 4.5 per cent following a key OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria. OPEC and its allies decided to lift oil production by a smaller than hoped ~1 million barrels per day starting in July. Iraq estimates that the increase in output may only end up being in the vicinity of 700,000 barrels due to capacity issues felt by some producers.
US markets edged a little higher on Friday although there was plenty for investors to process over the weekend including President Trump threatening a 20 per cent tariff on European Union car imports and China’s central bank cutting reserve requirements for some banks.
Kathmandu (KMD) is surging by 15 per cent on Monday after flagging improved sales and profits for the year. The adventure retailer expects EBIT to lift to between $72-$77m (up from $57m last year), Net Profit between $48-$52m ($38m last year), and a near 5 per cent improvement in Same Store Sales.
Metcash (MTS) gained 3 per cent despite the grocery distributor posting a net loss of $149.5m. The result was weighed down most by impairments including the loss of a key contract in South Australia which had already been flagged. Sales revenue still rose by 4.3 per cent to $14.5bn, it aims to pay a 7c/s final dividend and also announced a $125m share buyback.
oOh!media (OML) entered a trading halt as it raises ~$330m to help pay for its $570m acquisition of outdoor media business, Adshel.
1.4bn shares have changed hands so far, worth $2.2bn. 556 stocks are up, 569 down and 439 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec