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The ASX200 is edging higher by 26.7 pts or 0.4 per cent to 6717.9 at lunch despite an underw helming start to trade from mining stocks. The market started the day w ell, slow ly grinding higher over the first hour of trade thanks to gains across almost all sectors and 65 per cent of stocks. This comes after a modest improvement in the US overnight.

Aveo Group (AOG) is up 9c or 4.6 per cent to $2.03 and the ASX 200’s strongest performer follow ing an announcement yesterday confirming it has continued takeover talks w ith Canadian investment group Brookfield. AOG said that “significant progress has been made in those negotiations”. AOG is one of Australia’s largest operators of retirement communities.

Nearmap (NEA) is 11c or 3.5 per cent higher to $3.24 despite no official announcements by the company. Domain Holdings Australia (DHG) is dow n 17.5c or 5.7 per cent to $2.88 and is the morning’s w orst performer follow ing a broker dow ngrade.

Infrastructure company Downer EDI (DOW) announced a five year $600m contract w ith AusNet to maintain its electricity lines in Victoria. DOW is up 9c or 1.3 per cent to $6.96.

The inaugural edition of Commonw ealth Bank’s Household Spending Intentions Series w as launched today. It show ed there is a turnaround in home buying intentions currently underw ay and the risks to economic activity and consumer spending are starting to recede but w eakness in retail and motor vehicle spending intentions still indicate a high level of household caution w hen it comes to expenditure more generally. CBA Chief Economist Michael Blythe stated, “The big question right now w ith interest rate cuts in place and tax cuts coming is w hether policy makers have done enough to keep the Australian economic story on an even keel.”

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence rating rose by 0.3 per cent to 116.3 points. Consumer sentiment remains above the average of 114.4 points held since 2014 and the longer term average of 113.1 points since 1990. The estimate of family finances compared w ith a year ago w as up from +10.0 points to +13.1 points – the highest reading since February. Retail stocks are mostly higher at lunch, w ith Kogan.com (KGN) up 4.5 per cent and Harvey Norman (HVN) adding 9.5c or 2.2 per cent to $4.41.

1.6bn shares have changed hands so far today w orth $2.8bn. 605 stocks are up, 433 dow n and 362 are unchanged.

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