Latest news

The ASX 200 is down by 58 pts or 0.78 per cent to 7,116.5, backing off Monday’s record close with most sectors in negative territory ahead of tonight’s Federal Budget. This is just the second decline in seven sessions for the local bourse and follows a 1.3 per cent jump on Monday.

Tonight’s Budget will be focused on boosting economic growth, creating jobs and pushing the unemployment rate lower. As is usually the case, most of the government’s main initiatives are flagged to the market well ahead of Budget day.

The price of iron ore hit a record high for a second day, lifting by 7.9 per cent to US$229.55 per tonne. Putting this in perspective, iron ore prices were trading at ~US$80 in April last year. In its half-year results in February, BHP said that a US$1 per tonne move higher in the iron ore price could boost underlying profits by ~US$236m over a year. Firmer steel prices in China have helped push iron ore higher.

Boral (BLD) has recommended shareholders reject the $6.50 per share takeover offer made for the company last night by Seven Group Holdings (SVW). BLD believes the Offer to be opportunistic and undervalues the company. BLD is up 1.3 per cent at lunch.

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL) will be removed from the ASX at market close today following the acquisition of its shares by Coca-Cola European Partners.

A2 Milk (A2M) is down 5.5 per cent, is slipping for a fifth day and follows Monday’s 13.1 per cent tumble. The infant formula company revised its FY21 outlook for a fourth time since September 2020 yesterday. The border closures, particularly with China, have significantly impacted its Daigou channel.

Hiremii Limited (HMI) – a technology driven recruitment firm – is set to make its Australian sharemarket debut at 12pm AEST.

Dexus (DXS) has entered into an agreement to acquire all of APN Property Group’s (APD) staples securities for an all-cash consideration of 91.5 cents per security. APD shares are lifting by 47 per cent.

National Australia Bank (NAB) said it intends to proceed with the acquisition of 86 400 following Federal Court approval. It announced its intention to make the purchase earlier this year to help accelerate the growth of its digital bank, UBank.

2.5bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $2.2bn, with 429 stocks up, 852 down and 394 unchanged.

Published by CommSec