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Aussie shares are off to a soft start on the final trading day of a choppy month for shareholders. The ASX 200 index is down 0.35 per cent or 22pts to 6666.4, predominantly due to heavy falls from the big banks and a busy night for U.S. markets.

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for a third straight month this morning to between 1.5 – 1.75 per cent, while also signalling it may not cut rates further for the time being. Today’s rate cut was fully priced in by the market. Economic data on U.S. growth and jobs together with Apple and Facebook earning were all ahead of expectations.

The Chilean government announced that it no longer will be hosting the upcoming APEC Summit on November 16 due to domestic unrest. This received attention partly due to recent hopes Phase one of the U.S. – China deal could be signed at the event.

Banks are weighing heavily on the market following a weak set of quarterly earnings from ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) this morning. Cash profit slipped by 0.3 per cent to $6,470m (survey $6,519m) following remediation expenses, record low interest rates and plenty of competition. The Net Interest Margin fell by 8bps over the second half. While ANZ maintained its 80c/share final dividend, it decided to reduce franking from 100 per cent to 70 per cent.

Bellamy’s (BAL) is up 1 per cent. An independent report concluded that a takeover by a Chinese group is in shareholders’ best interests. This brings the Tasmania based infant formula maker a step closer to being taken over. BAL shares have surged by 76 per cent Year-to-Date, with most of the improvements coming after news of the takeover interest in September.

Iluka (ILU) is up 5.7 per cent. The mineral sands producer is reviewing options for a royalty it owns on BHP’s iron ore operations in Western Australia. The royalty earned the group $41m in 1H19 and is expected to increase in coming years.

2bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.3bn. 523 stocks are up, 449 are down and 367 are currently unchanged.

Published by CommSec