SYDNEY, AAP – Better sales figures from Australian retailers and a good US lead have not inspired investors to push the ASX higher early.
Shop sales data published on Friday showed an improvement of 1.3 per cent in September after lockdowns eased in some states.
Most share categories on the ASX were lower despite the S&P 500 and Nasdaq reaching record closing levels. Apple and Amazon stocks helped US markets.
Among the shares to have the biggest falls on the domestic market were financial shares. ANZ and NAB each lost more than one per cent.
Property and telecommunications stocks also fared poorly.
Healthcare shares were the only category to improve.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 33.8 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 7396.6 at 1200 AEDT.
The All Ordinaries was down 29.7 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 7710.
Macquarie Group has more than doubled first-half profit and is raising $1.5 billion to pursue new opportunities.
The group had net profit after tax of $2.04 billion after the same period last year was ravaged by the coronavirus.
The interim payout was $2.72 per share, higher than the previous interim dividend of $1.35 per share. Both were 40 per cent franked.
Shares last traded for $197.83 before being paused for a share sale.
Sleep specialist ResMed improved sales by 20 per cent in its first quarter to $US904 million.
Higher demand for sleep and respiratory products was helped by a competitor’s product recall.
Shares were up more than five per cent to $37.71.
In mining, BHP was little changed. Fortescue fell 0.21 per cent while Rio Tinto slumped by almost two per cent.
Casino operator Crown has paid $125 million to settle a shareholder class action from 2017.
The company said it was likely to recover a significant portion of the expense through insurers.
Meanwhile, billionaire James Packer has told the Western Australian royal commission there were “many oversights” during his time overseeing the Perth casino operations.
Shares were down a little more than one per cent to $9.98.
Car parts supplier GUD Holdings said it was increasing prices to deal with inflationary pressures.
Company leaders said the increase in domestic travel due to the pandemic would mean more people driving. People would also shun public transport, they said.
Shares were up more than six per cent to $12.12.
The Australian dollar was buying 75.31 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 75.05 cents at Thursday’s close.