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The Aussie market is weaker for a second session this week with the ASX 200 sliding 41 points or 0.67% to 6131 towards lunch. Losses are accelerating as the day progresses with the market opening several points higher.
The soft showing is despite a general improvement for global markets with optimism over a new trade deal signed between the US, Mexico and Canada as a replacement for the existing North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
A majority of sectors are in the red as financials continue to weigh most on the broader market this week. This follows the sector lifting last Friday after the release of an interim report from the banking royal commission. The big four banks are leading the losses with the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) the biggest decliner, losing 1.3%. Macquarie Group (MQG) is also down 1.4%.
The biggest improvement is coming from the energy sector with oil rising ~3% and to fresh 4-year highs as on-going concern on global supplies with US sanctions against Iran commencing on November 4. Origin Energy (ORG) is the best of the local energy names, up 2.2%.
Miners are mixed with a Chinese public holiday seeing little change in iron ore prices. BHP Billiton (BHP) is climbing 0.2% while Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue (FMG) are weaker by 0.8% and 1% respectively.
Graphite miner, Syrah Resources (SYR) is in a trading halt following a fire at its Balama mine in Mozambique as it assesses the repairs required and impact on production.
Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) has announced a successor for its outgoing board chairman Dr Ian Blackburne who will step down after the company’s AGM next year. He will be succeeded by Mr Neil Chatfield. ALL share have eased 2.5%.
Consumer confidence has risen to a 7-week high at 118.1 over the past week and is comfortably above the long term average. The RBA is widely expected to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5% when it meets later this afternoon. Interest rates have now been unchanged for the last two years. The Aussie is buying 72.3 US cents.
So far, 1.1B units have been traded worth $1.8B with 441 stocks higher, 536 weaker and 341 unchanged.
Published by James Tao, CommSec