The Aussie market has been treading water for most of the morning but is around session highs around lunch. The ASX 200 is 7 points or 0.1 per cent at 6723 points. The benchmark index was expected to fall with SPI Futures indicating a decline of 12 points on the open. The early weakness was expected following a soft finish on Wall Street over the weekend with reports that the White House was considering delisting Chinses companies from US stock exchanges and stoking trade concerns. High level talks are still expected to take place on October 10 and 11.
Locally, the moves have been rather muted with a narrow trading range over the early hours of trade. Investors are bracing for a potential interest rate cut at the RBA’s October meeting tomorrow. The market is pricing in a near 80 per cent chance that the Reserve Bank will cut rates by 25 basis points, which would make a third rate cut since June this year and lower the official cash rate to a new historic low of 0.75 per cent.
Improvements have been predominately across the resource sectors with the materials and energy sectors making the most ground. This is regardless of mixed trade for base metals while global oil prices fell. Among the miners, Rio Tinto (RIO) is 2.3 per cent higher and BHP Group (BHP) is lifting 0.8 per cent. Woodside (WPL) is one of the best performing energy producers, up 1.5 per cent.
Nufarm (NUF) is soaring 23 per cent but was 40 per cent higher at its best levels. The crop protection business announced that it has agreed to sell its South American division to Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo for $1.18 billion. NUF also released its FY19 results with a net profit of $38.3 million and confirmed it won’t pay a final dividend.
The main laggards are coming from the IT sector. Afterpay Touch (APT) is retreating after a near 11 per cent jump last week, down 1.2 per cent today. Software firm, Altium (ALU) and Appen (APX) are also 2 per cent lower. Financials are also weighing with Commonwealth Bank (CBA) falling 0.5 per cent.
The Aussie dollar is also relatively range bound ahead of tomorrow’s RBA rate call at 2.30pm AEST and currently buys 67.64 US cents.
So far, 1.1b units have changed hands, worth $1.6b with 496 stocks higher, 495 weaker and 374 unchanged.
Published by CommSec