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
Consumer confidence fell slightly by 1.8 points to 100.0 this week with sentiment now evenly balanced between positive and negative sentiment, however consumer confidence is well below the 2021 weekly average of 108.9 according to ANZ-Roy Morgan.
Consumer Confidence fell this week in both Victoria and NSW and is now clearly below the neutral level of 100 in both States and both Sydney and Melbourne. Elsewhere, South Australia and Queensland is just above 100 while it is significantly higher in Western Australia at over 110.
This week’s decrease in consumer confidence is driven by the declines in NSW and Victoria as well as small falls in views towards people’s personal financial situations and whether now is a ‘good/bad time to buy major household items.
A stand-out in this week’s release is the jump in inflation expectations to its highest level in almost three years. ANZ Head of Australian economics said, “the weekly reading can be volatile so we need to be a bit cautious about overplaying the move, but if sustained it will cement the sharpest jump in inflation expectations since we moved to collecting the data on a weekly basis,"
Today the Reserve Bank is set to meet at 2.30pm EST. 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.