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The Aussie market was slightly down at lunch, having traded up for most of the morning. The ASX 200 was down 0.15 per cent, at midday to 7,284.6. The moves followed stronger US sharemarkets late last week, pushed higher by gains in technology shares.

At lunch, IT was the strongest performer up 2.0 per cent. Individually, Altium (ALU) was up 34.1 per cent, adding 3.75 points to the benchmark, after receiving a takeover offer (the $38.50/share offer valued at $5b from Autodesk in the US was rejected), while Hansen Technologies (HSN) had rallied 21.8 per cent, adding 0.7 points to the ASX 200, after receiving a $1.3b offer at $6.50/share from private equity firm BGH Capital. The deal is likely to be recommended by the board.

By lunch, materials had also gained 1.0 per cent, followed by energy, which had added 0.6 per cent. Financials was the worst performer, down 1.1 per cent, followed by consumer discretionary, which had fallen 1.0 per cent.

In company news, a raft of firms are facing AUSTRAC investigations. They include Crown Resorts (CWN, -1.6 per cent), Star Entertainment (SGR, -3.0 per cent), NAB and SkyCity (SKC).

NAB’s shares dropped 2.9 per cent on the news. The AUSTRAC investigation is due to “potential serious &
ongoing non-compliance” with AML/CTF laws. At this stage, it is not considering civil penalty proceedings.

SKC’s investigation regards potential compliance issues also with its AML/CTF obligations at its Adelaide casino. Its price had fallen 4.7 per cent.

CIMIC (CIM) is in a trading halt and has confirmed to the ASX that Ventia, in which CIMIC owns 47.5 per cent, has appointed advisers to assist in reviewing its strategic options which could include an initial public offering.

In economic news, ANZ reports that job ads rose by 7.9 per cent in May to 213,894 ads. In the US, the unemployment rate fell from 6.1 per cent to 5.8 per cent (survey 5.9 per cent.

The AUD buys 77.3 U.S. cents. So far today, 2.0b units were traded worth $2.0b with 617 stocks higher, 668 lower and 402 unchanged.

Published by CommSec