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Gains made yesterday on the local market appear to be short lived as the ASX 200 has erased those improvements at lunch. The index is down 71 points or 1.3% to 5,389 following a mixed session on Wall Street overnight. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also spoke about the Australian economy and the impact of coronavirus.

Losses are across nearly every sector at lunch with only healthcare and staples improving. The energy and materials sectors are down at least 2% while the property sector is 3% lower in the first few hours of trade.

Travel stocks are among some of the worst performers on the ASX 200 so far. Corporate Travel Management (CTD) is 6% weaker while Webjet (WEB) is down 8.5% after a near 20% rally yesterday. Flight Centre (FLT) is also softer by 7.1%.

Major banks and miners are another drag on the market with the big four lenders all down more than 1% with National Bank (NAB) the worst sliding 2.5%. Australia’s largest miner, BHP Group (BHP) is easing 3.2% with Fortescue Metals (FMG) down 3%.

In company news, online retailer (KGN) is 7.2% higher with a strong performance for April. The business saw growth in active customers and strong uplift in gross sales and profit, both at least doubling from the same time last year.

Building products maker, CSR Ltd (CSR) is also significantly higher, up 9.5%, after releasing its full-year profit numbers. Net profit for the year rose 61% to $125.3 million although revenue dipped 5% to $2.21 billion. CSR has suspended its final dividend and is not providing guidance for FY21 due to coronavirus uncertainties.

Software company Altium (ALU) is easing 4.1% on a business update. The COVID19 restrictions have
hampered its business particularly in key European and North American markets with 4Q sales affected.

The Aussie dollar has also eased more than 1 US cent to 64.44 US cents on a stronger USD. March saw the largest decline in international travel on record with a 60% decline in overseas arrivals. So far, 1.8b units have been traded worth $3.2b with 390 stocks higher, 657 lower and 344 unchanged.

Published by CommSec