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ASX Today: Trump tariff news not enough to slow Aussie stocks

Wall Street took a sudden tumble after news dropped that US tariffs on Chinese goods will likely stay in place until after the 2020 election. Aussie stocks, however, charged on.

The news came on the eve of the phase-one US-China trade deal. The 15 per cent tariffs on over $100 billion of Chinese goods will still be halved, as outlined in the deal, but the rest of President Trump's tariffs will stay in place.

The Dow Jones clung to a 0.11 per cent gain while Australia slept, but the S&P 500 and NASDAQ lost 0.15 and 0.24 per cent respectively.

Down under, however, the market stayed strong and posted another day of record gains. The benchmark ASX 200 index teased the 7000-point mark for the first time, but close just short at a new high of 6994.80 points.

The finance sector, one of the pillars of our market, helped protect Aussie stocks from overseas losses. The big four banks all saw green. Commonwealth Bank gained 0.60 per cent, Westpac 0.41 per cent, NAB 0.44 per cent. and ANZ 0.20 per cent.

Macquarie danced between red and green over the day, but a late-session surge brought the investment banking company up to a new record high close of $141.51 per share.

The other pillar of the ASX, our mining sector, was somewhat rocky. BHP saw a 0.32 per cent gain, while Rio Tinto and Fortescue lost 0.56 per cent and 1.27 per cent respectively. Newcrest's 3.06 per cent gain, however, helped offset the losses.

Health care stocks, which also weigh-in heavily on the market, helped steady the ship. CSL again edged towards the elusive $300 share price but closed shop 0.42 per cent up at $297.74 per share. Cochlear closed 1.34 per cent up, just shy of its previous all-time-high at $236.01 per share.

Tech stocks were similarly mixed. While Xero and Computershare helped stabilise the sector with 0.71 and 0.51 respective gains, Afterpay and WiseTech saw red. Afterpay dipped 1.20 per cent and WiseTech 0.98 per cent.

The consumer staples sector, however, dragged the market down. While our supermarket giants were our best performers yesterday, today eight of the top 10 consumer stocks by market cap struggled to see green.

Woolworths sunk 0.18 per cent, Coles 0.38 per cent, and conglomerate Metcash 1.15 per cent.

Over to the east, Asian markets were painted red. When the Australian market closed, the Asia Dow had lost 0.57 per cent, Japan's Nikkei 225 0.53 per cent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng 0.86 per cent.

In currencies, the Aussie dollar is slightly weaker and buying 68.95 US cents, 52.91 pence, 34.96Philippine pesos.

What's hot today and what's not today

Hot today: Gold and base metals explorer Kalamazoo Resources (ASX:KZR) spiked a whopping 65 per cent to a new all-time high share price today. The huge uptake in shares came on the back of a healthy investment from Canadian gold explorer Novo Resources and billionaire businessman Eric Sprott. Novo and Eric each bought 10 million shares at 40 cents apiece with an 80 cent attaching option. KZR shares closed at 57 cents each.

Not today: Those with shares in collapsed lithium miner Alita Resources (ASX:A40) will likely walk away empty-handed after an expert's report released to the market today found the company had far more debt than total assets. "Consequently, the company’s shares in a liquidation scenario have nil value," the report said. The next step for the company and its embattled shareholders is still up in the air.

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