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Aussie shares are snapping a three-day losing streak, with the ASX 200 index down 0.4 per cent at lunch as all sectors head lower following a weak lead from Wall Street. Ahead of key data on China’s economy at 1pm AEDT, the banks have started to claw back this morning’s losses which has helped the index lift from its lows (down 1 per cent in early trade).
All sectors are sitting in negative territory so far today with 70 per cent of companies slipping. Losses from the large miners, healthcare and energy stocks are weighing most heavily however. The price of oil has dropped by 4.5 per cent in just two days on signs of a lift in US supply.
The gold sub-sector is standing out and remains one of the few bright spots on the market. St Barbara (SBM) is up 4 per cent after receiving a broker upgrade. Regis Resources (RRL) is also lifting after announcing a bigger than expected drop in costs over the past three months thanks to more efficient mining. Production has remained steady with the prior quarter and keeps the miner on track to meet its yearly output goals.
Buy-now-pay-later technology companies like Afterpay (APT) and ZIP (Z1P) are back in the red after bouncing back on Thursday. APT has been hit hardest, down 15 per cent this week on concerns of a Senate inquiry into pay-day lenders and related companies which became public knowledge on Wednesday. APT welcomed the inquiry yesterday.
Profit taking seems to be pushing the infant formula stocks lower on Friday. A solid quarterly update from A2 Milk (A2M) on Wednesday helped push the stock significantly higher mid-week.
Today is the busiest day of the month for updates on China’s economy. This will receive plenty of attention considering the recent focus on US-China tensions and Australia’s reliance on China as a trading partner. September figures on Chinese sales, production and investment will be released at 1pm AEDT together with GDP numbers for the September quarter.
1.3bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $1.6bn. 351 stocks are up, 570 down and 349 are flat. 
Published by CommSec