The Aussie market is trading in the red early on Friday and is also on track for a negative week. The ASX 200 is down 57pts or 1% to 5815 at midday, at its worst the index was down 68 points or 1.2%. It was unable to follow Wall Street’s positive lead as US investors gauged the likelihood of further US fiscal stimulus.
Resource sectors are falling most following weakness from commodity prices while the technology is leading improvements. The energy sector is down more than 2% as global oil prices tumbled up to 3.7% overnight. Oil Search (OSH) and Beach Energy (BPT) are falling most with declines of 4.3% and 3.8%.
The big name miners are weighing on the materials sector and the broader market. BHP Group (BHP) is 2.5% weaker while Fortescue Metals (FMG) is 2.3% lower and Rio Tinto (RIO) is down 1.1%. Iron ore and metals trading will be more muted for the next week with China going into a week long holiday.
Banking weakness and healthcare losses are also keeping downward pressure on local shares. Three of the big four lenders are down at least 1.5% while the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is falling 0.7%. Meanwhile CSL Ltd (CSL) has dipped 1.1%. Mesoblast (MSB) which has recently been pushed higher on hopes it will receive US FDA approval for its remestemcel-L therapy has slumped 35% today after it was required to conduct further testing before being granted regulatory approval. The stocks has still more than tripled from its lows earlier in the year.
In other news, Collins Foods (CKF) will be closing its last nine Sizzler restaurants in Australia by November 15 as the rebound in its sales and revenues since the peak COVID19 period has been slower than expected. 600 staff will be impacted with some moved to CKF’s other brands KFC or Taco Bell or made redundant. CKF shares are down 0.5%.
On the economic front, retail sales for the month of August fell 4% in August, slightly better than the preliminary reading of a 4.2% decline. Spending in Victoria lagged the rest of the country due to COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions. The AUD eased slightly following the release but is firmer for the day buying 71.68 US cents. So far, 2.1b units have traded worth $2.4b with 504 stocks higher, 605 weaker and 342 unchanged.
Published by CommSec