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Aussie shares are lifting for a second day, with the ASX 200 index up 1 per cent thanks to gains across most sectors. While this is the best daily improvement in four months, local stocks are still on track to have the worst month in close to three years. Last night, American shares rose by between 2-3 per cent thanks partly to better than expected quarterly earnings from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Johnson & Johnson and United Health.
Mining stocks are under pressure at lunch despite firmer commodity prices in overnight trade. BHP Billiton (BHP) in a quarterly update confirmed it remains on track with its production goals for its iron ore, oil and coal operations. Australia’s largest miner is facing some challenges with its copper business however and has cut its copper output target for the year by 3 per cent.
BlueScope (BSL) is down 2.5 per cent and is spending $42.3m to increase its presence in the New Zealand steel market. It will purchase a 16 per cent stake in Steel & Tube.
St Barbara Mines (SBM) has maintained its guidance for FY19. The gold miner’s shares are down by around 2 per cent.
Telstra (TLS) is underperforming in the telco space. At its Annual General Meeting yesterday more than 60 per cent of shareholders voted against executive remuneration plans. This means should 25 per cent or more vote against pay plans next year, it could result in the whole Board being replaced.
AGM season slowly ramps up with Origin (ORG), Tabcorp (TAH) and CSL Limited (CSL) all meeting investors today.
In the winners’ column today, A2 Milk (A2M) is standing out, lifting by around 9 per cent. The dairy group said it has met expectations with sales targets over the past three months and is selling more of its products in China (5.6 per cent share of total sales).
1.5bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.1bn. 683 stocks are up, 319 are down and 316 are unchanged.
Data on monthly overseas arrivals and departures are released for August. 
Published by CommSec