ASX falls, energy & major miners tumble: Aus shares down 0.5% at noon

The Australian sharemarket is trading under pressure this morning after opening lower. At noon, the ASX/200 is 0.5 per cent or 33.6 points lower at 7403.7. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 26 points.

Energy stocks are dragging despite making strong gains yesterday. Banks and heavyweight miners are also weighing on the market, while tech and health stocks are higher. 

Following a mixed night on oil prices, Santos (ASX:STO) is trading 2.2 per cent lower and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) is trading 3.1 per cent lower. The energy retailer AGL (ASX:AGL) is also down 6.9 per cent as the worst performing stock.

Miners are down due to a drop in iron-ore prices, BHP (ASX:BHP) is trading 2.5 per cent lower and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is trading 1.3 per cent lower. However, lithium miners are surging. Pilbara minerals (ASX:PLS) continues its winning streak up 8.9 per cent as the best-performing stock.

Major banks are in the red with Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) trading the worst, down 0.6 per cent following its redemption of CommBank PERLS. Building company Cimic (ASX:CIM) is down 2 per cent after trading ex-dividend today, while Blackmores (ASX:BKL) also added to the losses, down 4.7 per cent.

Local economic news

The Westpac Melbourne Institute released their September consumer confidence report this morning. Consumer Sentiment increased by 2.0 per cent to 106.2 in September from 104.1 in August. While Australia’s two major cities have been lock-down, the index is still comfortably above the reads seen over the five years prior to the pandemic and is 0.9 per cent below its June print just prior to Sydney’s move into lock-down.

The latest month has seen confidence in NSW lift 5.3 per cent to 106.4 while confidence in Victoria held steady at 104.1 despite the state moving back into another extended lock-down in early August.

Company news

Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) will contribute to a US therapy trial, designed to treat prostate cancer.

Hotel Property Investments (ASX:HPI) raised $50 million to partially fund the acquisition of Edwardes Lake Hotel in Melbourne for $28 million.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Health Care, up 0.9 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Utilities, down 1.6 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), trading 8.9 per cent higher at $2.46. It is followed by shares in Elders (ASX:ELD) and Altium (ASX:ALU).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is AGL Energy (ASX:AGL), trading 6.9 per cent lower at $5.88. It is followed by shares in Blackmores (ASX:BKL) and Janus Henderson Group (ASX:JHG).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1802.99 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.8 per cent lower at US$121.67 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 3.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.03 US cents.
 

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