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The local market has opened in the red with the announcement by President Trump and the USadministration to impose fresh 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to start next week. The ASX 200 is off by 17 points or 0.3% to 6167 towards lunch.
The sectors most heavily affected by the trade stoush and its flow on effects of slowing global trade and growth include resources, with the energy and materials among the biggest decliners so far. Miner BHP Billiton (BHP) is down 0.75%, although Rio Tinto (RIO) is faring better, 0.3% lower thus far. Origin Energy (ORG) and Oil Search (OSH) are giving up 3.2% and 1.7% respectively.
Healthcare stocks are another drag on the market with CSL Ltd (CSL) losing 1.2%. Aged care providers which slumped 17-18% yesterday on the news of a royal commission into the industry are recovering today with Estia Health (EHE) up 3.8%, Regis Healthcare (REG) lifting 6.5% and Japara Healthcare climbing 6%.
The performance of financials has limited the losses with the ANZ Bank (ANZ) rising 0.6% and leading the improvements for the big four banks.
In company news, TPG Telecom (TPM) is 0.4% lower after releasing FY18 results this morning. The telco’s revenue was mostly flat at $2.5 billion with statutory NPAT falling 4.6% to $396.9 million but underlying NPAT was 3.7% higher at 432.6 million. TPM did note headwinds from the migration of customers to the lower margin NBN services did impact earnings. EBITDA guidance is expected to decline to $800-$820 million in FY19 but it does not take into account the proposed merger with Vodafone Australia.
Adventure retailer, Kathmandu (KMD) saw sales improve by 11.7% over the 2018 financial year to NZ$497.4 million with NPAT jumping 33% to NZ$50.5 million and strong sales growth in Australia. KMD shares are up 3.5%
The RBA has also released the minutes from its September meeting with the reserve bank still expecting a gradual improvement in employment and wages growth for the next interest rate move to be a lift, but not in the near term. The Aussie dollar has rebounded from its intraday lows to buy 71.7 US cents.
1B units worth $2B have traded with 445 stocks higher, 510 lower and 350 unchanged.
Published by James Tao – (Author), CommSec