It has been a shaky start to the final week of the month, quarter and financial year with Aussie shares slipping for a third day and the ASX 200 down 0.3 per cent at lunch on Tuesday. Trade tensions between the US, China and the European Union sparked last night’s weakness, with global markets down as much as 2.5 per cent.
President Trump has not only applied tariffs on a number of products making their way to the US recently but has now flagged potentially limiting some Chinese investment in American technology firms. This triggered a global pullback in tech stocks including ASX listed Wisetech (WTC) and Altium (ALU).
Investors are in defensive mode this morning which is why property stocks and utilities are performing well. Scentre Group (SCG), which operates Westfield shopping centres in Australia, pipeline company APA Group (APA) and energy firm AGL Limited (AGL) are lifting strongly.
The banks are making the biggest difference in limiting the market’s losses however, with the big four up in the order of 1 per cent at lunch. Keep in mind that yesterday the banks slumped by as much as 2.5 per cent following news CBA intends to spin off its wealth management and mortgage broking business but also follows outsized gains last week.
The rest of the market is under pressure, including mining and energy stocks as investors shy away from growth stocks.
BHP Billiton (BHP) and Brazilian joint venture partner Vale have agreed to negotiate a settlement of $55.4bn relating to the Samarco tragedy which killed 19 people in 2015. The actual settlement will be delayed for two years while talks take place.
APN Outdoor (APN) seems on track to be purchased by the world’s largest outdoor advertiser, JCDecaux. The French company has raised its bid for APO from $6.52 to $6.70/share (approximately $1.12bn) which has been backed by the APO Board.
Collins Foods (CKF) is down 3 per cent despite Australia’s largest KFC franchisee posting a 16 per cent lift in FY profit to $32.5m.
Metcash (MTS) is down 1.5 per cent after posting a loss of $149.5m yesterday.
1.3bn shares have been traded so far today worth $2bn. 377 stocks are up, 670 are down and 449 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec