The Australian sharemarket has bounced back from a softer start, with equities lifting for a third day while also hitting 11.5 year highs at lunch. The ASX 200 index is up 0.18 per cent or 13pts to 6,659.8.
While there are more winners than losers on the local market today, five companies are holding the ASX 200 back most. BHP, Rio Tinto (RIO), Fortescue Metals (FMG), Caltex (CTX) and Viva Energy (VEA) are the main weights.
Rio Tinto (RIO) is down 3.8 per cent after warning of issues with a mine in the Pilbara which means it is likely to produce less iron ore than hoped this year. RIO now expects output between 320-330mt (previously 333-343mt). Fortescue Metals (FMG) and BHP are also under pressure.
Caltex (CTX) is slumping by 19 per cent due to a substantial cut to earnings guidance. CTX now expects profits to more than halve compared to a year ago. This was blamed on a slowing Australian economy, lower refining margins and a weaker local currency. Viva Energy (VEA) – which supplies fuel to Coles Express petrol stations – is down by close to 10 per cent.
The price of gold continues to lift which is helping push producers of the precious metal higher. Northern Star (NST), Evolution (EVN), Regis (RRL) and St Barbara (SBM) are up by as much as 6 per cent.
The number of passengers who travelled through Sydney Airport rose by 2.4 per cent to 3.5m passengers in May. The number of international passengers rose by 6.3 per cent while domestic edged higher by 0.3 per cent. SYD is up 2.5 per cent at lunch.
Syrah Resources (SYR) remains in a trading halt for a second day as the graphite miner looks to raise $111m to provide additional liquidity and flexibility.
Qantas (QAN) is investing $25m in its loyalty program, cutting fees and simplifying the process for customers to cash in their points. QAN is down 3 per cent.
The CBA Business Sales index – a measure of economy wide spending – rose by 0.7 in May. While this is above average long-term growth, spending may have picked up post Federal Election and following this month’s rate cut. The Reserve Bank governor is delivering a speech today.
1.8bn shares have changed hands so far worth $4.9bn. 586 stocks rose, 482 fell and 389 finished unchanged.
Published by CommSec