The local market is lifting slightly at lunch on Tuesday after a rather flat start. The ASX 200 is now 15 points or 0.23% higher at 6939 following a rebound on Wall Street where the Dow Jones rose 143 points or 0.5%. Gains have been across most sectors with only the resource sectors and utilities to turn negative.
Leading improvements have been health, financial and consumer stocks. Among the healthcare names, CSL Ltd (CSL) is the biggest contributor to broader moves as it advances 1.1%. ResMed (RMD) is climbing 2.7% with the medical devices and software company recouping a chunk of its 4.5% slide yesterday where it released quarterly results.
Consumer stocks are also responding well despite news that local retailer Colette has gone into administration. Retailing stocks are mostly higher with Harvey Norman (HVN) jumping 6.5% on several broker upgrades following more positive data out on the national property market. JB Hi-Fi (JBH) is also benefitting with a gain of 3.7%. Travel related stocks have also bounced back with Webjet (WEB) climbing 3.5% while Qantas (QAN) and Flight Centre (FLT) are both improving roughly 1-2%.
Real Estate trusts BWP Trust (BWP), which rents out many of its sites to Bunnings and SCA Property Group (SCP) are both lifting on the back of releasing 1H20 profit results.
Energy and mining stocks continue to be hit by falling commodity prices as the coronavirus outbreak weighs on expectations for global demand. Global oil prices fell as much as 3.8% in overnight trade leading to falls for major oil & gas producers. Origin Energy (ORG) is down 3.3% with Oil Search (OSH) slipping 2.5%. Major miners are also weighing after iron ore fell 3.3% and is now trading below US$80/tonne. BHP Group (BHP) is 0.6% weaker while Fortescue (FMG) eases 1.8%.
Local investors will have one eye on the RBA meeting at 2.30pm Sydney time where market expectations are now for rates to remain on hold at 0.75%. The Commonwealth Bank Group economists see April as the next month for a rate cut. The AUD is a touch weaker at 66.86 US cents even with a slight lift in weekly consumer confidence.
So far, 1b units have traded worth $1.9b with 544 stocks higher, 409 weaker and 327 unchanged.
Published by CommSec