Aussie shares are lifting from a slow start, with the ASX 200 up 0.28 per cent at lunch. While this is enough for the index to break through 6,300pts, it falls short of pushing the market into positive territory this week. Gains from mining and energy stocks are making the biggest difference.
The market will need to lift by at least 0.7 per cent today to prevent a weekly decline. A reason for the weakness has been concerns about US-China trade relations. Key talks have finally kicked off in Washington this morning. The outcome could be important for markets in coming days.
REA Group (REA) is up 0.7 per cent after the operator of realestate.com.au has lifted revenue by 7 per cent to $198.6m from January to March. This despite a slowing property market which has pushed the number of property listings in Sydney down 18 per cent and 12 per cent in Melbourne. The result was helped by changes to its fee/pricing structure.
TPG Telecom (TPM) is up 4 per cent, however it has been a challenging week for the telco because the competition watchdog rejected its proposed merger with Vodafone.
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Qantas (QAN) is down by 3 per cent after a number of brokers have cut expectations for the airline’s share price over the next 12 months. Keep in mind that its shares rose by more than 2 per cent yesterday on some better quarterly results.
Spotless Group (SPO) is up by 9 per cent on no major company news. SPO is an outsource facility, laundry and linen services provider.
On the economic front, the RBA’s Statement on Monetary Policy has received some attention. This is the bank’s quarterly document which includes projections for different parts of the economy. Updates to forecasts on GDP, inflation and unemployment were largely flagged on Tuesday. Data on wages and jobs will be released next week and will add to discussions about interest rates. Keep in mind that with the Federal Election a week away, the RBA may want to wait for a few months and the next CPI read in July. The market however is pricing in an 85 per cent chance of a rate cut by December.
1.4bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.1bn. 523 stocks are up, 430 are down and 357 are flat.
Published by CommSec