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The Aussie sharemarket is slipping for a fourth straight trading day, with the ASX 200 down by 0.12 per cent to 6,599.8 at lunch. Despite the decline, the market has bounced off this morning’s low, when the ASX 200 was down by more than 1.3 per cent and sank to a two-month low in the process. The Australian sharemarket edged higher for a fourth consecutive month in January, although the enthusiasm faded over the past week.

The US market fell by ~2 per cent on Friday, wrapping up the worst week in two months in the United States. The buying frenzy led by retail traders on online forums has kept markets somewhat on edge overseas. The most heavily short sold companies on the ASX are nowhere near as shorted as in the US. According to a monthly update in China on Sunday, activity levels at Chinese factories grew at the slowest pace in five months in January.

While all sectors started in negative territory this morning, mining stocks, retailers, consumer staples and healthcare have managed to push higher at lunch, which is helping the ASX 200 bounce off this morning’s low.

Perth announced a five-day lockdown yesterday after a hotel quarantine security guard returned a positive COVID19 test. Shares in Flight Centre (FLT), Webjet (WEB) and Sydney Airport (SYD) are lower. Supermarket chains have introduced buying limits in WA due to panic buying of certain items. Shares in Woolworths (WOW) are higher while Coles (COL) is lower.

Crown (CWN) is down 1.2 per cent and will close its gaming facilities at its Perth casino for five days due to the lockdown.

Both Northern Star (NST) and Saracen (SAR) said they do not expect the Perth lockdown to impact exploration or production at its WA operations. Iron ore miners – which slumped by between 5-10 per cent last week – are higher. The metal’s price jumped due to forecasts for a tropical cyclone in WA, which could impact supplies.

Shares in Worley (WOW) are down 15 per cent following a half year update. The engineering company said its results have been impacted by COVID-19 along with currency movements.

5bn shares have changed hands so far, worth $2.9bn. 466 stocks are up, 934 down and 292 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec