The recent run of gains for the local market could come to an end with shares lower at lunch on Tuesday. The ASX 200 is slipping 1.5 points or 0.02% to 6739 after fading from a strong pop on the open, with a gain of ~20 points. Today’s start was helped by the broader S&P500 hitting fresh all-time highs.
Advances for healthcare, materials, consumer staples and the tech sector are trying to sustain advances for the market but is being weighed by losses for energy, communications, financials and consumer discretionaries.
The standout performance has come from the IT sector with improvements for some of the bigger names in the sector. Wisetech Global (WTC) is shrugging off some of the negative news headlines this week as it climbs 2.8%. Accounting software firm, Xero (XRO) is 2.7% higher while IRESS Ltd (IRE) is firming 4.7%. One of the biggest moves is for Bravura Solutions (BVS), which provides software solutions for financial firms, is lifting 5.2% after announcing another software firm, FinoComp, for $25 million.
Elsewhere, miners are mostly higher with BHP Group (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) both improving roughly 1%. Supermarket giants Coles (COL) and Woolworths (WOW) are both also trading higher. COL shares are lifting 2.4% after announcing its first quarter sales update for FY20. Sales growth was rather flat for the period, only increasing
0.2% from the same comparable period in FY19. Revenue came in at $8.7 billion with strongest growth in its liquor and express store (convenience stores). Supermarket sales were close to flat due to the wild success of the first Little Shops campaign last year.
The major decliner is the energy sector with global oil prices falling in overnight trade. Beach Energy (BPT) is down 2.2% while Oil search has fallen 1%. The four major banks are also dragging with losses up to 0.6% for Westpac Bank (WBC). Discretionary retailers are also lower with Dominos Pizza (DMP) down 3% and Lovisa Holdings easing 4%.
The Aussie dollar has firmed to 68.42 US cents on ongoing trade optimism. The AUD will also be heavily influenced by USD movements ahead of the US Fed decision of interest rates in the coming days. So far, 1.5b units have traded worth $2.1b with 491 stocks higher, 497 lower and 360 unchanged.
Published by CommSec