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Aussie shares are slipping for the first time this week, however have bounced off this morning’s lows with the ASX 200 closing in on 6,000pts. Despite today’s weakness keep in mind that the Aussie market hit a three-month high yesterday, was on a fourday winning streak and is up ~4 per cent this week. Finally, the Aussie market will be closed on Monday for the Queen’s Birthday holiday. Some shorter-term investors might be positioning for the long-weekend as they won’t be able to react to the weekend’s news flow. Tonight, the key non-farm payrolls report will be released. This is likely to see the US jobless rate approach 20 per cent.

US markets were mixed last night, with the Dow Jones ending a touch higher while the Nasdaq eased by 0.7 per cent after hitting a record high earlier in the session. Markets have largely ignored the civil unrest in the US, together with US-China tensions

There are three sectors keeping the market slightly lower on Friday. Healthcare stocks are by far the worst. CSL Limited (CSL) – which also happens to be the largest company in the sector – is down by 3.85 per cent after lifting by a similar margin yesterday. Not including its decline at lunch, the ASX 200 would actually be a touch higher. Consumer discretionary names like Wesfarmers (WES) and Harvey Norman (HVN) are also in negative territory. Technology stocks like Afterpay (APT), Appen (APX), Altium (ALU) and Xero (XRO) are also lower. Keep in mind that tech stocks have surged by 85 per cent from the lows hit in late March. This compares to the ASX 200’s 36 per cent gain over the same period.

The winners so far today are the banks, travel stocks, energy companies and building materials players. National Australia Bank (NAB) is up by 3.1 per cent and is standing out. Qantas (QAN) is lifting by 4.5 per cent a day after announcing plans to add more domestic capacity in coming months. Qantas is up 17 per cent this week. Sydney Airport (SYD), Webjet (WEB) and Flight Centre (FLT) are following the airline higher.

Energy stocks are mostly higher. Saudi Arabia and Russia reached a preliminary deal to extend output cuts for an extra month. Bloomberg reported however that Iraq, Nigeria and Kazakhstan have all been accused of not complying with the accord. (KGN) is up 8.5 per cent and is in its 12th straight week of gains (up 10 per cent this week). The online retailer released a one-page business update this morning, confirming that sales and profits have recently surged. Gross sales have more than doubled in April and May (compared to this time last year). Gross profit has jumped by more than 130 per cent.

2.5bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $4.3bn. 623 stocks are up, 520 are down and 353 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec