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Local markets were lower leading into the lunch break, with the ASX 200 down 0.35 per cent to 7,287.5. The moves followed mixed US sharemarkets overnight, with the S&P 500 index up 0.1 per cent to a record high, while the Nasdaq fell 0.2 per cent.

The ASX 200 closed out FY21 yesterday with its best year on record, rising 24 per cent in the last 12 months.

Consumer discretionary is the worst performer in morning trade, down 1.1 per cent. Consumer staples and financials are also 0.8 per cent weaker, with all four banks taking losses. Telecommunication is also 0.4 per cent weaker. Utilities and materials are up 0.4 per cent, followed by industrials, which has gained 0.1 per cent and health care, which is flat.

In Company news, Endeavour Group (EDV) shares started trading on a normal basis from 10am today following the implementation of its demerger from Woolworths (WOW). EDV has been trading under deferred settlement for the past week. Its shares are up 2.5 per cent.

Former Commonwealth Bank (CBA) CEO Ian Narev is starting his new role as SEEK (SEK) CEO & Managing Director today, replacing the outgoing Andrew Bassat. SEK was down 0.7 per cent.

REA Group (REA) has completed the $244m acquisition of Mortgage Choice (MOC) with the mortgage broker to be removed from the ASX at close of trade today. REA was 1.3 per cent lower.

Westpac (WBC) has confirmed the $725m sale of its general insurance business to Allianz which includes an exclusive 20-year agreement to sell insurance products to WBC customers. WBC was down 0.4 per cent.

In economic news, the CoreLogic Home Value index rose 1.9 per cent in June to be up 13.5 per cent on the year. The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) recorded 58.6 in June, down from May’s record of 60.4.

The AUD is trading at 74.8 US cents. So far today, 2.2b units were traded worth $2.1b with 771 stocks higher, 500 lower and 346 unchanged.

Originally published by Daniel O’Leary – Finance Writer (Author), CommSec