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Aussie shares are slipping at lunch, with the ASX 200 down 0.66 per cent to 5,869.5 due to losses across almost all sectors. Mining stocks are the worst performers, with tech, and financials also weighing on the index. While equities have bounced off this morning’s fresh nine-week low, the index remains on track to extend its losing streak to four straight weeks.

A number of factors have worked against the local market this week. This includes Wall Street’s tech led slump, AstraZeneca placing its promising coronavirus vaccine trial on hold, oil prices hitting three-month lows, President Trump ramping up his anti-China rhetoric, the US Senate rejecting a new US$300bn coronavirus aid bill and the local market coming off five-straight months of gains.

Rio Tinto (RIO) announced major leadership changes today due to the destruction of 46,000 year old Aboriginal heritage sites by the company this year in WA. RIO’s CEO and head of its Iron Ore division will both be stepping down due to the tragedy.

Nearmap (NEA) is down 12 per cent after raising over $72m from institutional investors at a discounted price this week. The aerial mapping company intends to use the funds to help accelerate its expansion, including ramping up spending on US sales and marketing.

Buy-now-pay-later companies are mostly lower at lunch, with Sezzle (SZL) down 6.7 per cent, Zip Co (Z1P) and Openpay (OPY) dropping close to 5 per cent and market leader Afterpay (APT) slipping by 1.3 per cent. BNPL stocks are facing increased competition, with PayPal announcing an offering last week while some of the Australian banks unveiled new ‘no interest payment cards’ in recent days.

In September and October, plenty of companies will trade ex-dividend and pay eligible investors dividends. Today, Cleanaway Waste Management (CWY) is trading exdividend for its 2.1c dividend. JB Hi-Fi (JBH), Baby Bunting (BBN), Bapcor (BAP) and 1300 Smiles (ONT) will all be paying eligible investors their latest dividends Friday.

3.7bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth a light $2.9bn. 416 stocks are up, 725 are down and 379 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec