Aussie shares have faded from this morning’s resource stock led rally, with the ASX 200 down 0.13 per cent to 6,815.6. The index was initially lifting for a fourth straight session, up by as much as 0.53 per cent with firmer commodity prices pushing major iron ore miners and oil producers higher. Declines from tech stocks, retailers, consumer staples, telcos and property have started to outweigh the winners at around lunch.
Oil prices rose by 4.1 per cent due to fears that a container ship blockage at the Suez Canal could last for weeks. The canal offers a shortcut through Egypt for ships transporting products between Asia and Europe. The canal handles ~10 per cent of the world’s oil trade, so lengthy delays can cause significant disruptions.
Greater Brisbane will enter a hard three-day lockdown from 5pm tonight after 10 new cases were recorded in Queensland (four locally acquired). Flight Centre (FLT), Webjet (WEB), Corporate Travel Management (CTD) and Qantas (QAN) are all down.
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is down 0.75 per cent and has been hit with a 175.6 per cent duty for sale of its Australian wine in China for the next five years. This was the final determination by China’s Ministry of Commerce and related to anti-dumping and countervailing claims. It will be applied to Australian country of origin wines sold in China in containers of 2 litres or less. This was consistent with provisional measures announced previously.
Mortgage Choice (MOC) is up 62 per cent after REA Group (REA) launched a $1.95 per share takeover offer for the mortgage broker. The offer was a 66 per cent premium to its share price on Friday.
A2 Milk (A2M) is slipping for a tenth straight day, with the dairy company down 1.1 per cent. A2M is trading at a fresh three-year low and has only improved once in 19 trading sessions. Border closures have contributed to A2M cutting its guidance on three occasions in just six months.
Openpay (OPY) is in a trading halt as it secured an agreement with WorldPay – a global payments provider – to collaborate and offer flexible ‘buy now, pay smarter’ payment products. Its initial focus will be on the U.S. market. Austal (ASB) has officially commenced construction on its U.S. new steel shipbuilding facility, in Mobile, Alabama. The facility will provide the capability to meet stronger demand by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard for steel vessels.
This week, around $6.5bn in dividends will be distributed to eligible shareholders from CBA, Wesfarmers (WES), CSL, Suncorp (SUN), Aurizon (AZJ), IAG and Northern Star (NST). Plenty of economic data is also due for release in Australia this week as is usually the case at the start of a new month and quarter.
2.9bn shares have changed hands so far today worth a light $2.2bn, with 578 stocks up, 634 down and 387 unchanged.
Published by CommSec