SYDNEY, AAP – National Australia Bank declared a $2.5 billion share buy back for investors but the ASX was being let down by technology and healthcare stocks.
NAB on Friday revealed it will buy back shares to reduce additional capital and improve its balance sheet.
The bank was the best performing of the big four and higher by 0.42 per cent to $25.88 at 1200 AEST.
Yet losses of about two per cent for tech stocks, and one per cent for healthcare, weighed on the market.
Artificial intelligence software maker Appen shed 4.06 per cent to $11.32.
The biggest healthcare stock, CSL, lost 1.28 per cent to $287.27.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 8.4 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 7409.
The All Ordinaries was down 10.7 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 7684.5.
The ASX performance was at odds with Wall Street, which closed higher overnight.
US stocks were boosted by robust earnings and data showed the country’s economy was above its pre-pandemic level.
The US economy grew solidly in the second quarter, putting the level of gross domestic product above its pre-pandemic peak.
However the pace of GDP growth was slower than economists had expected.
On the ASX, wealth manager AMP is embroiled in another fees for no service controversy – this time with superannuation customers.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) alleges six AMP companies charged more than $600,000 in advice fees to 1500 customers despite being told they could no longer access the advice.
The customers had left their employer-sponsored superannuation accounts.
Shares were down 2.11 per cent to $1.04.
Ryan Stokes has become chairman of Boral after Seven gained almost 70 per cent of the company through its takeover offer.
Seven has also installed its chief financial officer Richard Richards as a director.
Previous chair Kathryn Fagg has retired from the board. Directors Peter Alexander and Deborah O’Toole will retire after the annual general meeting.
Boral shares were down 1.77 per cent to $7.21.
Seven Group shares were up 0.42 per cent to $23.41.
In mining, BHP had a record share price of $54.55.
Shares had since eased to be up by almost two per cent to $54.39.
Fortescue Metals was down 2.12 per cent to $25.74.
The company’s shares climbed by about the same measure on Thursday after it said it would beat its annual shipments forecast.
Rio Tinto rose 1.61 per cent to $136.34, following it doubling first-half profit on Wednesday.
Ampol will help provide electric car charging bays at more than 100 of its service stations across Australia.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will spend $7 million to install the bays.
Ampol shares were up 0.73 per cent to $28.69.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.90 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher from 73.89 US cents at Thursday’s close.