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The Aussie market is off to a better start, with the ASX 200 index up by 0.3 per cent which is just enough to recoup around half Monday’s pullback. Equities are being pushed higher by the banks and miners; two of the hardest hit sectors this month. The gains (which seem to be fading) provide a pause from the substantial falls of the past week. The ASX 200 remains near six-month lows and is currently on track to have its worst month in three years.
National Australia Bank (NAB) this morning announced $314m in costs as part of its remediation program. It expects this to reduce second half profits by around $261m. NAB and ANZ are both trading near two-year lows while CBA and Westpac (WBC) are hovering around the worst levels in five years.
Rio Tinto (RIO) is up by 1.5 per cent despite announcing a 5 per cent drop in iron ore shipments over the past three month from its key Pilbara mines in WA.
BHP Billiton (BHP) is paying US$59m to buy more of a copper explorer with operations in Ecuador (SolGold).
Telstra (TLS) is down 2.1 per cent as it holds its Annual General Meeting with shareholders. Some investors have expressed concern with executive salaries. TLS recently proposed cutting executive bonuses by 30 per cent.
Wisetech (WTC) has announced the acquisition of a UK logistics management software company called Datafreight. The purchase includes an upfront payment of $3.6m. WTC shares are still up by around 24 per cent so far this year.
Hutchison (HTA) – the part owner of Vodafone in Australia – is down by 16 per cent. In August both HTA and TPG Telecom (TPM) announced an agreement to form a $15bn integrated telecommunications firm.
Oil prices strengthened last night by 0.6 per cent to US$71.78/bl. Geopolitical tensions and worries ahead of US sanctions on Iran which take effect in less than three weeks haskept prices near four-year highs.
Gold jumped to near three-month highs on some safe haven buying. This seemed to be partly triggered by rising tensions between the US and Saudi Arabia and comments by President Trump in relation to potential tariffs on China.
948.3m shares have changed hands so far today worth $1.8bn. 500 stocks are up, 455 are down and 326 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec