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The Australian sharemarket is flat at lunch following its worst weekly tumble of the year. The ASX 200 index was down by as much as 0.45 per cent in early trade due to heavy losses from mining stocks but has recovered thanks to stronger banks.

The recovery comes despite weaker US markets, the UK economy contracting for the first time in almost seven years, political turmoil in Italy and the US-China trade tensions.

Mining stocks are weighing heavily, with Fortescue Metals (FMG) down 3.5 per cent while Rio Tinto (RIO) is down 2.5 per cent at lunch. The iron ore price has fallen by more than 20 per cent within two weeks partly on US-China trade concerns, lower steel prices and lower Chinese demand.

Nickel producers are falling back with Independence Group (IGO) and Western Areas (WSA) down almost 3.5 per cent. Both stocks rose in the order of 10 per cent last week however on news that Indonesia is considering bringing forward a ban on nickel exports.

Shares in Telstra (TLS) are down by 1.3 per cent ahead of its profit results which are due this Thursday.

James Hardie (JHX) is up by around 3.5 per cent. The building products maker released quarterly results on Friday and five brokers have raised their share price expectations on the stock.

Nine Entertainment (NEC) is buying the rest of Macquarie Media it does not already own (includes 2GB and 3AW). NEC shares are up 1.3 per cent.

Shares in Bendigo & Adelaide Bank (BEN), JB Hi-Fi (JBH), Ansell (ANN) and Aurizon (AZJ) are all improving following the release of their profit results.

JBH is up by close to 9 per cent after its 7.1 per cent lift in fullyear profit to $249.8m was well received due to challenging trading conditions. It attributed the improvement to a successful tax time promotional period in Australia. Revenue rose 3.5 per cent while it maintained its 51c dividend.

Regional bank Bendigo & Adelaide Bank (BEN) is up by 1 per cent despite a 6.6 per cent slide in cash profit to $415.7m. NIM remained flat at 2.36 per cent when compared to this time last year while it has maintained its dividend at 35c/s on 30 September.

1.7bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.1bn. 536 stocks are up, 511 down and 363 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec