The Australian sharemarket dropped 0.4 per cent in the early trade, despite a strong start from the energy sector. At noon, the ASX/200 fell just under the benchmark, trading 0.1 per cent or 6.1 points lower at 7419.1. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 19 points.
Iron ore prices slipped overnight while oil prices are well higher with Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) up 6.1 per cent. Brambles, tech and health stocks are weighing on the market, while banks are mixed.
Despite a weak start, BHP (ASX:BHP) is up 0.4 per cent following the announcement that two of its board members will retire after their 2021 general meeting. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is still under pressure, down 1.5 per cent.
Brambles (ASX:BXB) is down 11.4 per cent, as the supply-chain logistics company commenced an investor briefing after the market closed last night. Tech stocks are under pressure, Afterpay (ASX:APT) is down 2 per cent and payment software Xero (ASX:XRO) is down 1.7 per cent. Health stocks Resmed (ASX:RMD) and Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) are down 3.8 and 3.5 per cent.
On the bank front, Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) is doing the worst, trading 0.3 per cent lower, while ANZ (ASX:ANZ) is doing the best, up 0.2 per cent. Westpac (ASX:WBC) is trading flat after announcing the block of its Pacific business sale while NAB (ASX:NAB) is edging 0.1 per cent lower.
Local economic news
Australian Bureau of Statistics dropped their residential property indexes for the June quarter along with overseas arrivals and departures for July.
Residential property prices rose 6.7 per cent this quarter and rose 16.8 per cent over the last 12 months. The total value of residential dwellings in Australia rose $596.4 billion to $8,924.6 billion this quarter.
International travel arriving in and departing from Australia In July: Total arrivals reached 74,860, a monthly decrease of 27,620 trips. Total departures reached 87,020, a monthly decrease of 11,320 trips.
National Australian Bank (ASX:NAB) released their business survey for August 2021, reflecting an uncertainty in the economy as lockdowns persist and the timing of re-opening venues remains unknown. Business conditions rose by 4pts to +14 index points in August after declining sharply over the previous two months. Improvements in the trading (up 7pts) and profitability (up 10pts) sub-indexes drove the result, while employment edged down further (down 2pts). The result saw business conditions remain elevated above their average across all states.
Papua New Guinea’s watchdog has blocked the sale of Westpac’s (ASX:WBC) Pacific businesses to ASX-listed Kina Securities (ASX:KSL).
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Energy, up 3.9 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 1.3 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Beach Energy (ASX:BPT), trading 6.7 per cent higher at $1.11. It is followed by shares in Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) and AGL Energy (ASX:AGL).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Brambles (ASX:BXB), trading 10.7 per cent lower at $10.95. It is followed by shares in ResMed (ASX:RMD) and Pro Medicus (ASX:PME).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1790.62 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.5 per cent lower at US$123.84 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.0 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.62 US cents.
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