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Aussie shares are losing ground for a second day, with the ASX 200 index slipping by close to 0.3 per cent at lunch on Wednesday. US stocks provided a softer lead with the Dow Jones down 1.5 per cent (after a long weekend) as investors reacted to the IMF’s cut to global growth forecasts. Disappointing economic data on US housing and confusion relating to the US-China trade dispute added fuel to the selling.
Concerns of slowing global growth contributed to a pullback in commodities overnight and in turn is weighing on the resource space. The price of oil fell 2.3 per cent which is dragging Santos (STO), Oil Search (OSH), Woodsid (WPL) and Caltex (CTX) lower.
The price of iron ore also took a hit, slipping by 1.8 per cent in the past 24 hours. Two of the country’s largest producers of the metal, BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) are both in the red.
Northern Star (NST) is down 6 per cent after warning of higher production costs in its quarterly update.
The financials are mixed, however a recovery from the big banks has helped the broader market lift on session lows. Challenger (CGF) is down 14 per cent after the wealth manager cut profit expectations for the first half (six months to December 2018). This was partly blamed on a volatile sharemarket and lower performance fees earned.
Afterpay (APT) is up 1.5 per cent a day after a Senate enquiry into buy-now-pay-later technology companies. Media reports suggest no unexpected surprises in the questioning.
Regis Resources (RRL) is up 3 per cent after the gold miner announced a bigger than expected lift in production.
No major market moving economic data is set for release locally. The data highlight this week will be tomorrow’s December labour market read. The market is expecting employment to have lifted by around 20,000 and for the jobless rate to improve modestly to 5 per cent.
839m shares have changed hands so far worth $1.5bn. 345 stocks are higher, 487 are down and 347 are flat.   Published by CommSec