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The Aussie market is firmer for a third straight session at lunch on Tuesday even following a small decline on Wall Street as investors weighed up the possibility of a deal to be struck at trade talks between the US and China later this week. The ASX 200 is trading 35 points or 0.55 per cent higher at 6599 with the biggest percentage gains for utilities, energy and industrials as all sectors advance.

Individually, health names are among some of the biggest movers. Mayne Pharma (MYX) has had some volatile sessions following an announcement last week that it had signed a 20 year deal to sell a contraceptive drug in the US. MYX shares are climbing 6.2 per cent today. Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (CUV) is rising another 3.7 per cent after a similar gain yesterday as the biopharmaceutical firm extended its contract for CEO, Dr Phillipe Wolgen, for a further three years.

Some of the largest declines are coming from Afterpay Touch (APT), which is down 1.8 per cent. Baby retailer, baby Bunting (BBN) is sliding 7.5 per cent after releasing a quarterly trading update as it holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today. BBN is expecting FY20 earnings guidance to be unchanged. Same store growth for the quarter was at 3.1 per cent with that number expected to be in the mid-single digits for the full financial year.

In other news, the ANZ Bank (ANZ) has announced that it will take a hit to its 2H19 cash profit with a further $559 million (after-tax) in remediation charges, of which $405 million will be from continuing operations and $154 million will be recognised in discontinued operations. This follows a similar announcement made by the National Bank (NAB) last week. ANZ shares are managing to lift 0.5 per cent.

Bluescope Steel (BSL) has advised that criminal charges will not proceed while the ACCC civil case remains ongoing against the company and a former employee for cartel conduct. BSL shares are 0.8 per cent higher.

The Aussie dollar fell against the greenback during the US session and is holding around 67.3 US cents. The AUD has not reacted much to the mixed release of September business conditions and confidence and a slightly softer weekly consumer confidence reading.

So far, 1.1b units have traded worth $1.7b with 515 stocks higher, 411 weaker and 366 unchanged.

Published by CommSec