US Election Day is finally here after a long campaign with counting now underway. The Aussie market has faltered after a fairly flat start to the day. Around midday, the ASX 200 is down to its intraday lows, falling 68 points or 1.1% and just below 6,000. Investors will be watching the count closely with the earliest indication of a result likely to be late Wednesday or early Thursday local time, in what is
expected to a tight race to the White House. The race for control of the senate will also be closely followed by markets.
The majority of sectors have turned negative after the opening few hours of trade. Financials along with energy and materials and falling hardest while industrials are the only improving sector.
The big four banks are acting as the major drag on the market with Commonwealth Bank (CBA) sliding 2.5% and Westpac (WBC) is also 2.5% lower. ANZ Bank (ANZ) and National Bank (NAB) are easing 1.6% and 1.2% each.
Major miners are also falling with iron ore prices down overnight. Fortescue Metals (FMG) is underperforming against BHP and Rio Tinto (RIO). FMG has tumbled 4.9% with BHP 1.5% lower and RIO down 1.8%. Sandfire (SFR) is 2.5% higher after slumping 7% yesterday on concerns China will ban Australian copper imports.
Travel related stocks are among the outperformers with NSW opening its borders to Victoria from 12.01am on November 23. Sydney Airport (SYD) is 1.5% higher with Qantas (QAN) lifting 1.1%. Flight Centre (FLT) and Webjet (WEB) are also advancing by 2% and 1.5% each.
In company news, Woolworths (WOW) is down 01% having released a quarterly sales update. Total group sales rose 12% to $17.9 billion with Australian Food sales came in $12 billion, rising 12%. Big W sales saw a 20% lift in sales to $1 billion but WOW’s Hotels continued to struggle with COVID-19 restrictions, as sales slumped 33% to $313 million.
The Aussie dollar is trading near 71.6 US cents following a strong lift in US trading, but has fallen from its earlier highs of 72.15 US cents. Retail spending in the September Quarter rose 6.5%.
Published by CommSec