SYDNEY, AAP – Miners were for a second consecutive day limiting losses on the Australian share market after a weak US lead.
ASX technology shares fared worst and most categories were lower on Tuesday after Wall Street investors reduced risk prior to earnings season.
Mining giants BHP, Fortescue and Rio Tinto were minimising damage and were all about one per cent higher.
The miners’ gains follow many workers in China’s iron ore trade returning to their jobs after public holidays last week.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 11.9 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 7287.9 at 1200 AEDT.
The All Ordinaries was down 16.8 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 7584.3.
In the US, supply chain problems from the pandemic and higher costs for energy have prompted concern about third-quarter earnings beginning this week.
US inflation figures are also due this week. There have been high readings this year and the latest data will add to debate about when the US Federal Reserve may ease economic stimulus.
In Australia, business confidence has surged on the hope that roadmaps out of COVID-19 lockdowns will allow economic activity to rebound.
The National Australia Bank business survey for September showed confidence spiking 19 points to an index of plus 13 points, well above its long-run average.
In company news, Westpac revealed its second-half profit will be down by $1.3 billion due to a series of items.
This includes a writedown of $965 million for assets of its overseas corporate banking arm.
The full-year earnings are due on November 1.
Shares were down 1.18 per cent to $25.75.
The Commonwealth was best of the big four banks and rose 0.1 per cent to $104.79.
CSL boss Paul Perrault said he expected a net profit for 2021/22 of up to $US2.25 billion (about $3 billion).
That would be slightly less than the fiscal 2021 profit of $US2.38 billion, in part due to increased costs associated with plasma collection during the pandemic.
Shares were up 0.74 per cent to $289.63.
Like CSL, Telstra also had its annual general meeting and offered financial forecasts.
Boss Andy Penn said he hoped to maintain a minimum fully franked payout of 16 cents per share.
Shares were even at $3.85.
In technology, there were falls of more than two per cent for Afterpay, Appen and Bravura.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.38 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 73.18 US cents at Monday’s close.