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Aussie shares are slipping by around 0.3 per cent at lunch with losses from gold miners, insurers, Telstra (TLS) and healthcare stocks keeping the ASX 200 in negative territory. With local equities last improving on Monday, the market is on track for its first weekly decline in six weeks.

U.S. stocks recouped a healthy portion of the prior session’s losses after President Trump told reporters at the UN that a U.S.-China trade deal could come sooner ‘than you think’. This was well received two weeks out from high-level talks in Washington. It has fallen short of inspiring local buying however.

Gold miners are currently the worst performers following a near 2 per cent tumble in the metal overnight. Major players like Newcrest (NCM), Northern Star (NST) and Evolution Mining (EVN) are down by as much as 4 per cent.

Buy-now-pay-later companies are standing out at lunch. Flexigroup (FXL) is up 22 per cent after saying the number of transactions processed through its payments platform has jumped by 25 per cent in recent months. FXL also said it has added retailers like KOOKAI, Oxford, Mitre 10, Smile Solutions and to its hum payment platform. Zip Co (Z1P) is lifting by close to 6 per cent while debt collector, Credit Corp (CCP) is up 1.5 per cent. Afterpay Touch (APT) is the exception, easing modestly after surging by 13 per cent on Wednesday.

Lend Lease (LLC) is up 4.5 per cent. The property group has launched a $1bn real estate investment trust that will list on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Assets include a large shopping centre in Singapore and three office buildings in Italy.

Major miners are holding up well. This includes Fortescue Metals (FMG), Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP. All three performed poorly in recent days.

Almost $6.5bn will be paid out in dividends to eligible investors today, making it one of the busiest sessions of 2019. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) will account for most of the payments, followed by Telstra (TLS), Coles (COL), Medibank (MPL), Santos (STO) and Newcrest Mining (NCM).

1.4bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $2.6bn. 502 stocks are up, 513 down and 373 are flat.

Published by CommSec