Aussie shares are recovering from last week’s losses but have given up much of its early momentum. The ASX 200 is eking a gain of 3 points or 0.06% to 6178 approaching lunch. The index fell 0.46% last week but benefitted from a positive lead from Wall St and European markets on reports of substantive progress on trade talks between China and the US.
Gains have been somewhat curtailed with the ASX 200 index well off its 25 point gain at its best levels of the morning. The financial sector swinging into the red has played a part in the eroding the improvements. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is leading the losses for the financials as it eases 0.7%. Suncorp Group (SUN) is down2.2% while Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is weaker by 1.7%. Communications are also a weight and underperforming. Real Estate business REA Group (REA) is shedding 4.3% while telco, Vocus Group (VOC), which owns iPrimus and Dodo, is sliding 2.8% after denying media speculation it was looking to raise capital to improve its debt position.
Those losses are partly offsetting the improvements by the materials, energy and consumer discretionary stocks. Miners are among the outperformers despite an easing in base metal prices, while iron ore fell 1% over the weekend. Miners Rio Tinto (RIO), Fortescue Metals (FMG) and BHP Group (BHP) are driving gains for the sector, lifting between 1% and 3.5%.
In company news, infant formula maker Bubs Australia (BUB) is expanding into toddler snacks as it launches a new range of organic snacks for 1-5 year olds to be available by May 2019. BUB’s is also hoping to break into the Chinese toddler food segment. BUB shares are up 4%.
Elsewhere, Elipx Group (ECX) is in a trading halt pending a market announcement by the fleet management firm which will include a trading update. ECX is currently proposed to merge with competitor McMillan Shakespeare (MMS) which is keeping an eye on the pending news. MMS shares are down 2.2%.
The Aussie dollar is holding around 70.85 US cents with little local or regional economic releases to move the currency today. So far, 1.3b units have traded worth $2.6b with 500 stocks higher, 440 weaker and 397 unchanged.Published by CommSec