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Aussie shares have recouped this morning’s 1 per cent decline, with the ASX 200 up by 0.06 per cent to 5,931.2 at lunch. Earlier in the day, the local market hit a five-week low, with the index tumbling below 5,900pts in response to Victoria’s tighter new restrictions, including curfews for six weeks due to COVID-19’s spread. Keep in mind that this also follows Friday’s 2 per cent slump, which was the worst day in five weeks.

The major banks are weighing most heavily on the market on Monday, with the big four down by as much as 3.5 per cent. NAB and ANZ are falling most, while Westpac (WBC) is down 2.8 per cent and CBA which is set to post earnings later this month, is down 1.8 per cent.

Tighter restrictions in Victoria continue to hurt the usual suspects today. This includes airlines and airports, with Qantas (QAN), Regional Express (REX), Air New Zealand (AIZ), Sydney Airport and Auckland International Airport (AIA) all losing ground this morning. Travel agents and booking sites (FLT and WEB), shopping malls (SCG and VCX), gaming companies and casino operators (TAH, CWN, SGR), toll road
operator (TCL) and retailers (including MYR) have all been impacted so far today.

Losses from tech stocks like Afterpay (APT) and industrials including CIMIC (CIM) are also coming under pressure. AMP Limited (AMP) is down 4 per cent after four major brokers cut their expectations for the money manager over the next 12 months. This follows AMP’s 12.8 per cent slump on Friday after it warned that first half profit has approximately halved.

The market is being supported by blood products and vaccine maker, CSL Limited (CSL), hearing implant maker Cochlear (COH), gold and iron ore miners, Telstra (TLS) and supermarket chains.

On the economic front, national home prices fell by 0.6 per cent in July, with capital city home prices sliding by 0.8 per cent. Prices fell most in Melbourne (down 1.2 per cent), which is unsurprising considering the metro Melbourne lockdown. Prices in Sydney (down 0.9 per cent), Perth (down 0.6 per cent), Brisbane (down 0.4 per cent), Darwin (0.3 per cent decline) and Hobart (down 0.2 per cent) last month. The number of jobs advertised in July managed to lift by 16.7 per cent following a 42 per rebound in June.

2.9bn shares have changed hands so far today worth a light $2.8bn. 558 stocks are up, 602 down and 316 are unchanged. Keep in mind that volumes could be a touch lighter than usual due to a NSW bank holiday.

Published by CommSec