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Aussie shares were largely flat heading into the lunch break, with the ASX 200 only 0.07 per cent up, to 7,035.2. The index has struggled to find direction today, following mixed markets in the US on Friday.

Health care was the top performer this morning, up 1.2 per cent. IT had gained 0.2 per cent, while consumer discretionary had risen 0.5 per cent. Materials were down 0.9 per cent—BHP was down about 1 per cent, while Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) had fallen about 2.2 per cent. Utilities had declined 0.3 per cent, while industrials were also 0.3 per cent lower.

In company news, Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) half year results showed a 1 per cent fall in revenue to $2.2b, EBITDA was up 6 per cent to $750.3m and net profit was $346.5m. The results were supported by stronger than expected consumer sentiment and economic growth in the US and ANZ regions. ALL was 0.3 per cent lower.

Peak Minerals (PUA) has signed an agreement to acquire privately listed miner CU2 WA for $7.5m, expanding its copper foothold.

Tasmania-based MyState (MYS) shares were placed in a trading holt as the lender gets ready to raise $80m to fund its mortgage book growth.

The NSW Government has selected CIMIC Group’s (CIM) CPB Contractors and UGL, in a joint venture with Ghella, to deliver stage 1 of Sydney’s M6 motorway. The contract will generate
about $1.95b of revenue to the group of companies. CIM was down 2.2 per cent lower.

Software company Nuix (NXL) has established an independent board sub-committee of independent directors, including former US ambassador to Australia, Jeff Bleich, Sir Iain Lobban and Sue Thomas. The committee will work with external advisers and Nuix’s internal legal and risk management functions. NXL was up 3.7 per cent.

Seek (SEK) and Freedom Foods (FNP) are set to pay eligible shareholders dividends today. Elders (ELD) and Centuria Capital Group (CNI) both trade ex-dividend on Monday.

In economic news, the US ‘flash’ IHS Markit manufacturing index rose from 60.5 to a record high of 61.5 in May and the services index rose from 64.7 to a record high of 70.1 in the month. Existing home sales fell by 2.7 per cent in April to an annual rate of 5.85 million units.

The AUD buys 77.2 U.S. cents. So far today, 2.1b units were traded worth $2.2b with 615 stocks higher, 641 lower and 409 unchanged.

Published by CommSec