Aussie shares are slipping for a second day, with the ASX 200 down by ~0.5 per cent to 7,127.7 as most sectors head backwards. While this isn’t the ideal start to a new month, the index hit a fresh record high on Monday, has improved for eight consecutive months for the first time in 14 years and is up by more than 8 per cent so far this calendar year. Both the US and UK markets were shut last night due to public holidays but are set to resume normal trade tonight.
Energy, materials and utilities are the lone improvers at midday, with gains in iron ore and oil prices helping support major producers. All other sectors are under pressure. Fortescue Metals (FMG) is standing out lifting by 2.5 per cent and adding ~5.5pts to the ASX 200 following a 5.9 per cent lift in the iron ore price, which also rose by 1 per cent a day earlier. As a pure iron ore play, it is outperforming the more diversified Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP which are only up slightly.
Energy stocks are lifting largely in-line with a modest gain in oil prices overnight. Major oil rich nations are set to meet via video link tonight, with much of the market’s attention on production targets, which can impact oil prices. The banks are mostly lower. While Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is down 0.7 per cent, its shares hit record highs on four occasions last week and cracked $100 per share for the first time.
Nine Entertainment (NEC) has signed agreements with Facebook and Google for the supply of new content for three and five years respectively. This follows the Commonwealth Government’s enacting of the News Media Bargaining Code. Worley (WOR) has won a contract to work on a hydrogen plant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands with Shell.
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Travel stocks are mixed, with Sydney Airport (SYD) and Qantas (QAN) both in the red while Webjet (WEB) and Flight Centre (FLT) are both bouncing back from Monday’s heavy declines. Victoria reported nine new locally acquired cases, which takes the cluster to 54 and the exposure list to 320. iSelect (ISU) is trading exdividend on Tuesday while technology hardware and software distributor Dicker Data (DDR) is paying out its dividend.
Property prices in May rose by 2.2 per cent in capital cities to be up 10.6 per cent over the year, which is the strongest annual growth rate in almost 11 years. Prices rose across all capital cities, with Hobart lifting most, up 3.2 per cent. Weekly consumer confidence fell by 2.5 per cent according to a weekly survey, which was partly impacted by Victoria’s seven-day lockdown.
The Reserve Bank is widely expected to keep the cash rate at a record low 0.1 per cent this afternoon at 2:30pm AEST.
1.8bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth a light $1.8bn. 482 stocks are up, 813 down and 366 are flat.
Published by CommSec