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The Australian market was flat leading into the lunch break, with the ASX 200 down 0.05 per cent to 7,332.2. Despite the declines, the index is set to make a weekly gain of about 0.8 per cent. The moves lower followed mixed US sharemarkets overnight.

IT dragged on the market this morning, down 0.8 per cent. Buy-now-pay-later companies are continuing to suffer for the third day on news Apple could be entering the market. Afterpay (APT) was down about 2.0 per cent. Energy was down 0.6 per cent and materials had fallen 0.2 per cent. Property was up 0.5 per cent, the top performer, while health care had lifted 0.4 per cent.

NSW has recorded 97 new locally acquired cases of COVID19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, while Victoria has reported 10 cases. The state went into a snap five day lockdown last night.

About 80 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are set to pay eligible investors distributions today.

In company news, Seven Group (SVW) has increased its stake in building products group and takeover target Boral (BLD) to 56.84 per cent. SVW stock was up 0.1 per cent.

Rio Tinto (RIO) has reported second quarter results. Pilbara iron ore production is down 9 per cent to 75.9mt (vs Q2 2020), while iron ore shipments are down 12 per cent to 76.3mt. RIO was up 4.0 per cent.

Evolution Mining (EVN) is lifting 2.8 per cent and is the hardest hit of the major gold producers following its June quarter update this morning. Operating cash flow was $212m, gold production was 169,146oz and All-in Sustaining Cost of A$1,239/oz (A$1,215 over FY21).

Property group Ingenia Communities (INA) is up 2.1 per cent after raising its FY21 guidance. The group expects earnings before interest and tax to rise by 30 per cent versus guidance of only 15-20 per cent growth.

In economic news, the New Zealand Consumer Price Index (June Quarter) was up 1.3 per cent/qtr. (survey: +0.7 per cent) with annual inflation lifting to to 3.3 per cent a year (survey: +2.7 per cent), the fastest annual growth rate since 2011.

The AUD is trading at 74.2 US cents. So far today, 1.9b units were traded worth $3.4

Published by CommSec