Latest News

Local shares are easing in the early part of Friday’s session and drifting from record highs struck by the All Ordinaries yesterday. The ASX 200 is also retracing from near record highs and is sliding 13 points or 0.2% to 6804.5 and is following Wall St lower on mixed US earnings. Despite the weaker moves so far today, the top 200 index is still tracking for a weekly gain of 1.5%.

The tech sector is leading the losses as most sectors reverse yesterday’s gains. Appen (APX) is among the worst performers, down 4%. Accounting software firm, Xero (XRO) and buy-now pay-later payment provider Afterpay Touch (APT) are both roughly 1% weaker as well. Financials are also dragging the broader market lower with
losses for the big four banks and Macquarie Group (MQG). MQG is falling 1.3% after lifting on the back of a quarterly update provided at its AGM yesterday.

Minimising further losses has been strength among resource stocks with both the energy and materials advancing. Commodity prices were generally firmer overnight with crude oil rose 0.3% and iron ore rebounded 1.9% from recent weakness. Rio Tinto (RIO) is the most improved among the major miners as it lifts 1.4% while gold miners Northern Star (NST) and Evolution Mining (EVN) are also gaining 1% or more. OceanaGold (OGC) is slumping 6.9% after reporting Q2 results after market close yesterday.

Mining services firm, Mineral Resources (MIN) is one of the big improvers and firming 6.3% on a well-received quarterly update. MIN recorded a 49% lift compared to the previous year in iron ore shipments over Q4 to 3.3 million tons but spodumene (material used to make lithium carbonate) output was down 15% than the previous quarter. Chinese authorities have cleared a proposed 50% sale of its Wodgina lithium project to Albemarle Corp which still requires authorisation from Australian regulators.

Sleep mask maker, ResMed (RMD) has gained 6% on a 28% improvement to FY19 profit to US$404.6 million while revenue rose 11% to US$2.6 billion.

With no major economic releases today, the Aussie dollar has eased to 69.46 US cents on USD strength. So far, 1.5b units have been traded worth $4.1b with 469 stocks higher, 560 lower and 375 unchanged.

Published by CommSec