SYDNEY, AAP – Banks and financials shares were the worst performers on the Australian market as investors looked to a central bank cash rate decision.
Financials shares slipped 0.98 per cent on Tuesday and were the main contributor to the ASX being half a per cent lower.
The Reserve Bank at 1430 AEST is due to reveal whether it has changed the cash rate from a record low 0.1 per cent.
While a change in the rate is not expected, most interest will be in the bank’s commentary.
Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown may prompt the central bank to revise its plans.
The state on Tuesday has recorded three more local infections. This brings the total from the Melbourne outbreak to 54.
The continued spread raises the chance the seven-day lockdown may be extended beyond Thursday.
Meanwhile the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 34.9 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 7126.7.
The All Ordinaries was lower by 31 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 7375.7.
US markets were closed for the Memorial Day public holiday.
House prices continued to surge across Australia in May with values up by more than one per cent in every capital city.
The CoreLogic home value index rose 2.2 per cent in May, just shy of a staggering 2.8 per cent surge in March.
The index now stands 10.6 per cent higher than a year ago.
On the ASX, one of the biggest movers was software vendor for the car industry, Infomedia.
Shares were higher by 12.91 per cent to $1.53.
The company said sales were increasing and full-year sales were forecast to be between $95 million to $96 million.
Full-year cash earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were expected to be between $19 million and $20 million.
No estimates had been given before.
Infomedia also said it completed its purchase of US-based e-commerce vendor SimplePart.
Milk supplier Synlait climbed 5.33 per cent to $2.93 after it said flooding in the Canterbury region of New Zealand has not prevented staff collecting milk from farmers.
Several farms in Synlait’s network have suffered significant damage and the company said collecting milk was challenging due to road closures.
There was no change to full-year production plans or the earnings forecast.
The banks were all lower.
The Commonwealth was best of the big four and declined by 0.59 per cent to $99.13.
The Bank of Queensland had one of the steepest drops. Shares fell 1.34 per cent to $8.83.
Energy shares were best on the market after oil prices rose.
A meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, due Tuesday, will discuss supply.
Woodside shares were higher by 0.96 per cent to $22.02.
Materials shares were better by 0.31 per cent after iron ore prices rose.
BHP climbed 0.25 per cent to $47.97. Fortescue gained 2.54 per cent to $23.00. Rio Tinto was better by 0.53 per cent to $124.39.
The Australian dollar was buying 77.65 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher from 77.26 US cents at Monday’s close.