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There was another heavy sell off on Wall Street last night, with a 2% fall for the Dow Jones and 1.3% dip in the NASDAQ. In comparison, the Aussie market has seen rather muted losses on Friday.
The ASX 200 opened around 0.6% weaker but has since recovered as the session progresses. Towards lunch, the top 200 index is down 6 points or 0.1% to 5878. A recovery in local mining, tech and healthcare stocks have helped minimise the effect of losses in energy and financials.
Energy producers have been negatively impacted by a 3% slide in crude oil on concerns of possible weaker demand and a solid lift in US crude inventories. Oil Search (OSH) is leading the losses, down 2.5%. While financials continue to be weighed by losses for the major lenders.
Gold miners continue to rise following the price of the yellow metal rising close to 3% on a flight to safety. Northern Star (NST) is lifting 5% while Newcrest Mining improves 3.5%. Major miners, BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) are both more than 1% higher despite a mixed night for base metal prices last night.
Local tech stocks, which were the most heavily sold off during yesterday’s session, are among the biggest improvers so far. Afterpay Touch (APT) has recovered most of its 11% loss as it climbs 9% while Wistech Global (WTC) is clawing back 6%. Another notable advancer is the a2 Milk Company (A2M), jumping 9% from a previous loss of nearly 10%.
Ahead of the formal Nine/Fairfax merger process, Nine Entertainment (NEC), Fairfax Media (FXJ) and Domain Holdings (DHG), majority owned by FXJ, released trading updates for 1Q19. Nine affirmed FY19 EBITDA guidance between $280-$300M with flat free-to-air revenue. Fairfax quarterly revenue dropped 5% on last year while Domain revenue is down 1%. All three stocks are slumping 12-14%.
Home loan approvals fell 2.1% in August compared to expectations of a 1.4% decline. The total value of financing also slid 2.1% to $30.7B with owner occupied approvalsdown 2.7% and investment loans down 1.1%. The AUD has firmed against the USD to US71.3 cents.
At lunch, 1.1B units have traded worth $2.9B with 469 stocks higher, 493 lower and 356 unchanged.
Published by James Tao, CommSec