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The Aussie market is struggling to hold onto early gains as it attempts to extend its winning run into a sixth successive session. Around lunch, the ASX 200 is 17 points or 0.27% softer at 6,432. At its best levels, the index was 20 points higher with buying today less enthusiastic than in the previous five sessions. Even with today’s more muted moves, the ASX 200 has added ~6% since last Wednesday.

As was the case for US markets, growth stocks, like tech names, have turned around recent declines. The IT and communications sectors have outperformed while retail and healthcare also improving. Leading declines are the financials, energy and utilities.

The falls among the financials are being led by the big four banks. All are in the red with National Bank (NAB) falling most by 1.7% as it trades ex-dividend. The lender will pay a 30c final dividend on December 10. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and ANZ Bank (ANZ) are also down by 1% or more.

Telstra (TLS) is one of the day’s big winners, firming 4.9%, with the telco announcing further restructuring of the business at its investor day. TLS is proposing to split the business into three separate entities which will enable it to “take advantage of potential monetisation opportunities for its infrastructure assets”. It would have infrastructure split between mobile towers and other fixed assets. The third would be its services business for customer support.

Xero (XRO) is 0.7% higher as the accounting software company released first half earnings. It was up ~5.5% at its best as revenue jumped 21% to NZ$409.8 million and total subscribers lifted 19% to 2.45 million.

Wesfarmers (WES) is adding 2.8% having provided a trading update ahead of its AGM later today. WES continued to see strong online sales growth, aided by COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne, which weighed on Kmart & Target sales but Officeworks and Bunnings performed well. Nine Entertainment (NEC), Seven West Media (SWM), Breville (BRG), Medibank (MPL and Sonic Healthcare (SHL) are also holding AGMs today.

The Aussie dollar trades around 72.8 US cents, and has drifted below its highs above 73 US cents overnight on strength in the US Dollar.

Published by CommSec