Miners weigh down ASX: Aus shares 0.5% lower at noon

The ASX/200 is in negative territory this morning, trading 0.5 per cent or 35.1 points lower at 7493.4. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 33 points.

Banks and mining stocks are weighing on the index, while health care and consumer discretionary stocks are higher. 

As iron ore prices continue on a downward trend, mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) is down 1.5 per cent, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is down 2 per cent and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is down 2.9 per cent. Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) is even lower, down 4.1 per cent. 

Major banks are lower, with Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) down 0.5 per cent, Westpac (ASX:WBC) down 0.6 per cent, ANZ (ASX:ANZ) down 0.7 per cent and NAB (ASX:NAB) down 1.1 per cent. 

Despite health care as a whole pushing forward, Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) is down 1.6 per cent as it trades ex-dividend today. 

NSW recorded another 1220 new Covid-19 cases, while vaccination rates continue to rise. Victoria recorded 246 new cases and Queensland recorded 0 cases.

Local economic news

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index can be viewed here. 

Today the Reserve Bank is set to meet at 2.30pm EST on the backdrop of economic data pointing to a contraction.

Company news 

NZ electricity company Contact Energy (ASX:CEN), promoted chief information officer Iain Gauld and chief digital officer Tighe Wall to its leadership team.

Centuria Office’s (ASX:COF) responsible entity Centuria Property Funds, completed the institutional component of the 1 for 6.4 institutional entitlement offer announced yesterday.

SkyCity Entertainment (ASX:SKC) plans to reopen its casino and entertainment facilities from tomorrow in Hamilton and Queenstown, New Zealand after being force to shut down due to Covid-19.

IPO 

Midas Minerals Ltd (ASX:MM1) listed on the ASX today at issue price of $0.20. The stock opened at $0.25 and now trading at $0.23.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, up 0.3 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Materials, down 1.3 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT), trading 5.1 per cent higher at $18.39. It is followed by shares in Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) and Mesoblast (ASX:MSB).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Appen (ASX:APX), trading 4.3 per cent lower at $10.53. It is followed by shares in Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1826.74 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.52 US cents.
Iron ore is 8.5 per cent lower at US$132.38 a ton.
Iron ore futures are flat.

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