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The Aussie market is firmer at lunch with the ASX 200 along with other markets in the Asian region as market participants keeping an eye on the Trump Kim Summit being held in Singapore. The ASX 200 was flat on the resumption of trade after the long weekend break, and began to lift as talks began between the US & North Korean leaders around 11am AEST and trades 12 points higher or 0.2% at 6058 points.
There will be plenty of factors for investors and traders to digest this week, with the US Fed Reserve widely tipped to lift interest rates by 25 basis points to 1.75%-2% on Wednesday evening (AEST), while the European Central Bank (ECB) also meets to decide on rates this Thursday.
Solid gains among healthcare, consumer staple and industrials are countering weakness among utilities and our major miners. Blood products company, CSL Ltd (CSL) is the biggest positive influence on the market as it climbs 1.2%. Supermarkets, Woolworths (WOW) is 1.5% higher while Wesfarmers (WES) is up 1.1% after completing the sale of its UK hardware business. On the other hand, miners BHP Billiton (BHP) is the biggest individual weight on the market, down 1% with Rio Tinto (RIO) also weaker by 1.2%.
In company news, Virgin Australia (VAH) is improving by 2% after current CEO, John Borghetti announced he will step down at the end of his contract in January 2020.
Caltex (CTX) has lifted its profit guidance for the first half of 2018 with a historic-cost profit between $385 – $405 million. CTX shares are up 3%.
Ausdrill (ASL) is sliding 22% as the diversified miner confirmed that a wall failure at its Kalgoorlie gold mine has currently reduced scope of works by 35%.
On the economic front, a monthly NAB business survey has seen a slight drop in business conditions and confidence in May after a strong April reading. The Aussie dollar is currently buying 76.1 US cents after trading as low as 75.85 US cents earlier this morning.
So far, 1.8 billion units have been traded worth $2.2 billion with 552 stocks higher, 549 lower and 407 unchanged.
Published by James Tao (Author), CommSec