The Australian sharemarket is up only slightly as investors remain at bay ahead of a number of risks and uncertainties this week. The ASX 200 is up by just 17pts or 0.27 per cent to 6724.8, doing almost enough to recoup Tuesday’s falls.
The key events to watch this week are yet to come and include central bank meetings (Fed and ECB), the UK general election and the US-China trade deal deadline. While some media reports in the past 24 hours suggest there could be a delay to fresh tariffs kicking in, investors remain hesitant to overcommit.
The market is broadly higher today, with 10 of 12 sectors improving. Strong gains from the banks, Telstra (TLS), energy and gold mining stocks are helping most. These companies are doing just enough to offset losses from technology and property stocks.
Webjet (WEB) is surging by 10 per cent. The online travel group released a brief statement today addressing recent media speculation relating to takeover interest in the company. It said “…from time to time we consider acquisitions interest in the business” and “should a proposal be received that was compelling and certain, the company would put it to shareholders. No such proposals exist at present”. It fell short of flatly denying any takeover interest in the group.
Virtus (VRT) is up 1 per cent after announcing the purchase of Ireland’s largest IVF provider, Sims IVF Group. VRT spent €4.05m in cash to buy the remaining 15 per cent stake in the group it didn’t already own.
Bank of Queensland (BOQ) is down slightly by 0.3 per cent after a broker reduced its price target for the stock. CSL Limited (CSL) is up 0.7 per cent following a price target upgrade from a major broker this morning. CSL is approaching the $300 per share mark.
Consumer confidence dipped by 1.9 per cent in the early part of the month according to a monthly Westpac survey of around 1200 consumers. The sentiment index fell to a reading of 95.1 (a reading below 100 indicates that pessimists outnumber optimists). Consumer confidence has fallen by 6 per cent since the RBA started cutting rats in June.
1.3bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.6bn. 470 stocks are up, 507 down and 338 are flat.
Published by CommSec