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The Aussie market is well down on the last day of September with the ASX 200 falling 1% or 60 points at
5,892. The index has seen a slight recovery from its early lows where it was 90 points or 1.5% weaker. The benchmark index is also likely to finish the month in the red, the first monthly fall since March when the ASX 200 tumbled 21%.

Local moves are following a soft lead from Wall Street as investors focus on the first of three US Presidential debates. Investors were slightly encouraged by some better than expected Chinese manufacturing data that continues to show signs of improvements in the world’s second largest economy.

All sectors are in decline with energy falling most. Global oil prices slumped more than 3% overnight as parts of Europe and the US responded to second waves of coronavirus cases. Also Libya has restarted production after an eightmonth blockade was lifted. Woodside (WPL) and Oil Search (OSH) are falling 2.7% and 3% respectively.

The heavyweights across the ASX are also contributing significantly to broader declines. Losses for the likes of the big four banks, BHP Group (BHP) and CSL Ltd (CSL) are all falling at least 1%. These losses equates to ~20 points taken off the ASX 200 index, roughly one third of total losses.

While there are far more stocks in decline than advancing, there have been some stocks making solid improvements. One of the best is Corporate Travel Management (CTD), which is jumping 14% having been in a trading halt over the past two days. The travel company has raised ~$262 million from institutional investors at $13.85/share with a further $113 million to be raised from retail investors. Funds will be used for its recent acquisition of a US based corporate travel business and to shore up its balance sheet.

While Aussie equities are lower, the Aussie dollar is firming against the US dollar and currently buys 71.33 US cents but has fallen slightly from earlier highs with building approvals in August falling 1.6%, missing economist expectations. So far, 2.3b units have been traded worth $2.3b with 434 stocks higher, 692 lower and 354 unchanged.

Published by CommSec