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The Australian market opened firmer this morning but has faded at lunch and is now slightly lower for the fifth straight day. While the market is a little softer, the index is hovering just above support at 6000pts. Gains from mining stocks and consumer staples are helping offset losses from the banks.
US markets hit record highs on Friday. This was ahead of Congress failing to pass a new funding deal at the weekend however which forces some US government functions to shut down for a time. The Senate and House are expected to meet today to kick the can down the road until Feb 8.
Property classifieds site, Domain (DHG) is down by 12 per cent after the surprise resignation of CEO Antony Catalano. Fairfax (FXJ) holds a 60 per cent stake in DHG.
Real estate group, McGrath (MEA) is down by 9 per cent on news its CEO Cameron Judson will step down.
Australian Pharmaceuticals (API) is down by 1.5 per cent after flagging a 1H18 profit of $26.5m; a 9 per cent drop on last year and expects a slight fall in sales at its Priceline pharmacies.
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is up by 3 per cent as the owner of Penfolds is still benefiting from a broker upgrade late last week. (KGN) said it has had a record breaking quarter this Christmas sales season. Its shares are treading water today and is worth five times more today on the sharemarket than 12 months earlier.
Nine Entertainment (NEC) is a standout on no news. NEC is up 7 per cent on Monday.
This will be a holiday-shortened week with the Australian sharemarket closed on Friday for Australia Day. No major updates on the local economy are due this week but there will be a handful of quarterly updates, mostly by mining and energy companies. This will include Santos (STO), Oil Search (OSH), Lynas Corp (LYC) and St Barbara Mines (SBM).
2.1bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth a very light $1.4bn. 498 stocks are up, 594 down and 338 are unchanged.
Originally published by CommSec