Local stocks are weaker for a third straight session with the Aussie market taking a soft lead from Wall Street overnight. The major US indices were weaker by as much as 1.1%. Geopolitical concerns remain a weight on global markets. The ASX 200 index was down a similar amount earlier in the session but is lower by 57 points or 0.87% to 6516 at lunch.
Losses are broad based with roughly 75% of the top 200 stocks falling as every sector on the market trades in the red. Some of the heaviest losses are coming from the financials, with the four major banks lower by up to 1.2%, healthcare, communications and tech names.
The resources sectors are seeing some of the smallest declines. In the energy space, Oil Search (OSH) is up 3% on several broker price target upgrades while Santos (STO) is also climbing roughly 1%.
Gold miners are supporting the materials sector with Newcrest Mining (NCM) more than 2.5% higher while Northern Star (NST), Evolution Mining (EVN) and Saracen Mineral (SAR) are experiencing similar gains. Iron ore miner, Fortescue Metals (FMG) is improving 2.4% despite iron ore slipping 2% in overnight trade.
Again, there have been a number of companies trading exdividend which has also added to the move lower for the market. Health insurer Medibank Private (MPL) is falling 4.5% while Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is declining 1.2%.
Meanwhile, retail stocks have also made a slight rebound after yesterday’s underwhelming retail sales figure for July. The likes of Super Retail Group (SUL), JB Hi-Fi (JBH) and Myer (MYR) are all lifting with MYR shares jumping 6.5%.
Today’s economic growth or GDP reading has met expectations with quarterly growth of 0.5% while the economy grew at a rate of 1.4% over the year to June. While this means it is now 29 years of consecutive growth, it is at the slowest pace since September 2009. The Aussie dollar still jumped on the back of the release with currency traders fearing worse news, the local unit jumped above 67.8 US cents but has now settled at 67.78 US.
So far, 1.5b units have changed hands worth $2.7b with 455 stocks higher, 564 lower and 352 unchanged.
Published by CommSec