• SYDNEY, AAP – Shares were marginally lower on the Australian market as the big banks and miners had mixed fortunes.

    The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 7.8 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 7047.6 at 1200 AEST on Friday.

    The All Ordinaries was lower by 5.7 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 7306.9 points.

    Most industry sectors were lower but there was modest movement.

    Consumer staples had the steepest fall, 0.75 per cent.

    The materials sector, which includes miners, was down 0.16 per cent.

    The top sectors were telecommunications and utilities, up 0.3 per cent.

    Telecommunications’ result came after Telstra and TPG bought spectrum to operate 5G wireless broadband services.

    Telstra paid $277 million for 1000Mhz in the 26GHz spectrum auction. Shares were down 0.29 per cent to $3.39.

    TPG paid $108.2 million, through its subsidiary Mobile JV, for 400Mhz. Shares were up about one per cent to $5.87.

    Meanwhile the lacklustre start for the ASX could be attributed to losses on Wall Street.

    US stocks dived on reports US President Joe Biden planned to almost double the capital gains tax.

    Biden will propose raising the marginal income tax rate to 39.6 per cent from 37 per cent and nearly double capital gains taxes to 39.6 per cent for people earning more than $US1 million ($A1.3 million).

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.94 per cent to 33,815.9 points, the S&P 500 lost 0.92 per cent at 4,134.98, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.94 per cent to 13,818.41.

    In Australia, the Morrison government will slash the number of commercial flights from India to Australia by 30 per cent.

    India tallied more than 314,000 new coronavirus infections in one day according to its most recent figures, a pandemic record.

    On the ASX, wealth manager AMP will spin off and list one of its key business units after a potential sale fell through.

    The private markets investment arm AMP Capital manages assets classes including infrastructure equity and debt and real estate.

    It will now be demerged from the main AMP business sometime in the first half of 2022 ahead of a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange.

    Shares were up 2.22 per cent to $1.15.

    Meanwhile online retailer Kogan crashed by 11.14 per cent to $11.08 after investors were disappointed by a first quarter update.

    Earnings dipped 24 per cent on the same quarter last year due to storage costs from high inventory levels.

    Clothing chain Glue Store has been sold in a $13 million deal to Accent Group, which owns retailers such as The Athlete’s Foot, Dr Marterns and Supra.

    Accent said it was buying Next Athleisure, which owns Glue as well as wholesale and distribution operations.

    Glue has annual sales of about $90 million, including $16.6 million from online. The chain has 21 stores.

    Investors liked the purchase and sent shares to a record $2.82.

    They had since eased to be higher by 6.92 per cent to $2.78.

    In mining, Fortescue rebounded from a loss of more than one per cent on Thursday and gained 1.43 per cent to $21.62. BHP and Rio Tinto declined by less than one per cent.

    In banking, NAB was best of the big four, up 0.22 per cent to $26.45.

    The Australian dollar was buying 77.22 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 77.51 US cents at Thursday’s close.