The ASX 200 is down by just 0.15 per cent or 10pts to 6,663.2, with losses from major miners, Wesfarmers (WES) and Ramsay Health Care (RHC) keeping the market slightly softer for the first time in five sessions.
Despite the falls, the sharemarket has bounced off this morning’s lows while the Aussie dollar has fallen as economists digest the RBA’s generally dovish Board minutes. The central bank said it would cut rates again ‘if needed’. This Thursday’s monthly employment report will receive plenty of attention and could spark the conversation around a potential rate cut in October.
The focus in the early part of the week continues to be on the oil price however, which surged by 14 per cent overnight due to drone attacks on Saudi Arabia Saturday. This has impacted around half the Kingdom’s oil production and 5 per cent of global supply. Energy stocks are up by an additional 1 per cent after lifting by around 4 per cent on Monday. Qantas (QAN) – which spends around $4bn on fuel each year – is down around 4.5 per cent so far this week. Airlines go to great lengths to hedge with instruments like options to cushion the blow from volatile oil prices.
The tensions in the Middle East have created some safe haven demand, with gold prices and defensive property stocks lifting.
Ramsay Health Care (RHC) is down 5.2 per cent on news its biggest shareholder, the Paul Ramsay Foundation, is selling a $1.36bn stake or 10 per cent of the company at a discount. That will leave the group with a still significant 21 per cent stake in the private hospital operator.
Bellamy’s (BAL) is up by 0.1 per cent. The Tasmania based infant formula maker surged by 55 per cent on Monday after receiving a $1.5bn Board backed bid from a Chinese dairy group.
A number of the week’s major events will take place on Thursday, including monthly central bank meetings in the US, UK and Japan together with figures on Australian jobs growth.
1.3bn shares have changed hands so far worth a well above average $4.3bn. 540 stocks are higher, 494 are lower and 346 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec