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Local shares are marginally weaker at lunch on Tuesday. The ASX 200 has fallen 8 points or 0.1% to 6721 and following global peers lower. US and European markets fell in anticipation of interest rate meetings by the US Fed Reserve and European Central Bank, the UK general election and US-China tariff deadline at the end of the
week.

Most sectors on the local bourse are in reverse in the first few hours of trade. The materials and healthcare sectors are outperforming with more significant gains. Major miners are leading the way for materials with a 5.5% surge in the price of iron ore overnight on demand optimism fuelled by potential stimulus out of China. The three larger iron miners, BHP Group (BHP), Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue Metals (FMG) are between 0.5% and 1% higher. Healthcare stocks are rebounding from losses yesterday with CSL Ltd (CSL) up 0.9%.

The main drag on the wider market has been the performance of the financials, particularly the big banks. National Bank (NAB) is doing the worst with a fall of 1.5% on a broker target price cut. Bank of Queensland (BOQ) is also declining 1% as the bank holds an Annual General Meeting (AGM). BOQ expects FY20 to be a difficult year with lower cash earnings expected.

After receiving court approval for its $1.5 billion takeover offer by Chinese dairy company Mengniu, making the takeover is legally effective, Bellamy’s (BAL) is expected to be suspended from trade as of today’s market close. Shareholders will received $13.25/share as of their holdings on December 17 with the acquisition scheduled to be finalised on 23 December 2019.

Logistics software firm, Wisetech Global (WTC) is down 0.3% after acquiring a South Korean customs solutions firm called Ready Korea for $13.2 million upfront with a potential additional $7 million based on performance.

On the economic front, weekly consumer confidence rose slightly last week but November’s business survey was mixed. Business confidence was unchanged but conditions missed expectations. The Aussie dollar is buying 68.23 US cents.

So far, 1b units have been traded worth $1.8b with 428 stocks higher, 500 weaker and 325 unchanged.

Published by CommSec