The Aussie market is currently having its worst trading session in a fortnight with the ASX 200 easing 32 points or 0.5 per cent to 6716, but off session lows. This follows falls on Wall Street overnight which was weighed by weaker US economic data and news that US Democrats beginning an inquiry to impeach President Donald Trump.
Falls have been across the majority of sectors with the main drags coming from heavyweight financials, materials and healthcare. Three of the big four banks are lower with ANZ Bank (ANZ) standing out with a 0.4 per cent lift while Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is lagging with a 0.5 per cent decline. A fall in commodity prices, notably iron ore sliding 4.3 per cent and oil declining 2.5 per cent, has weighed on major miners and energy producers. BHP Group (BHP) is down 1.9 per cent and Rio Tinto (RIO) is 2.5 per cent lower.
The I.T. sector is the most improved on the back of Afterpay Touch (APT) rallying 12 per cent. The buy now pay later provider confirmed that an externally appointed auditor has handed in an interim report on its conduct in relation to its AML/CTF compliance obligations to financial crimes regulator AUSTRAC, with any recommendations to be provided in a final report. Also helping lift its share price is the fact that APT has received a broker upgrade.
In other company news, Retail Food Group (RFG) has rebuffed media speculation that it will undergo a capital raising to reduce its debt level, despite speculation in the media. The owner of Gloria Jeans and Donut King did state however that it was looking at a number of options which could include asset sales, debt funding or a possible equity raising. RFG shares have eased 5.4 per cent.
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The Aussie dollar has also had mixed trade since yesterday’s market close. Last night’s speech by RBA governor Philip Lowe didn’t provide any explicit indication of a rate cut in October. The market is still pricing in ~70% chance of a cut at the October meeting next Tuesday. The AUD rose to a high of 68.05 US cents, fell back to 67.85 US after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept rates on hold, but has since returned back above 68 US cents.
So far, 1.5b units have changed hands worth $3.4b with 446 stocks higher, 563 weaker and 346 unchanged.
Published by CommSec