Aussie shares retreated for the first time in four sessions as risk aversion gripped global markets ahead of a deadline for fresh US trade tariffs.
The ASX 200 eased 19 points or 0.3 per cent to 6711 by mid-session, trimming a rebound that began last Thursday. The market tone turned cautious on Wall Street overnight as the Sunday deadline for US tariffs on Chinese imports worth $US156 billion drew nearer with little indication of a breakthrough in negotiations. The S&P 500 dipped ten points or 0.32 per cent.
The local market was shielded from a heavier decline by strong gains in iron ore, copper and crude over the last few sessions. Iron ore, the nation’s second most valuable export after coal, jumped 5.5 per cent yesterday after Chinese leaders reaffirmed support to double the size of the economy next year from 2010 levels. Fortescue surged 0.8 per cent to a new post-GFC peak. Rio Tinto advanced 1.1 per cent to a its highest level since early August. BHP rose 0.9 per cent to within a few cents of a four-month closing high.
A mixed market saw gains in miners and health stocks checked by declines in tech, energy and consumer stocks. CSL remained within touching distance of last week’s all-time high with a rise of 0.4 per cent. Sonic Healthcare advanced 0.6 per cent.
Asset manager IOOF touched a 14-month peak before fading to a loss of 0.3 per cent after gaining regulatory approval to acquire ANZ’s pension and investments business. The big four banks all fell between 0.4 and 1.5 per cent.
Logistics group Wisetech eased 0.9 per cent after announcing it had acquired Ready Korea, a South Korean customs-focussed solutions provider. Gold miner Resolute slid 0.2 per cent despite advising it had completed repairs on a sulphide roaster at its Mali gold mine.
At the junior end of the market, Zoono zoomed 29.7 per cent to a record on news it was collaborating with a group of Chinese businessmen to get its microbial shield into the Chinese market for protection against African swine fever. Medicinal cannabis company Cann Global gained 13.3 per cent upon securing the rights to the formulas used by Olivia Newton-John while dealing with breast cancer.
In economic news, house prices surged 2.4 per cent last quarter, the biggest increase in more than two years. The increase was the first in a year and a half. Chinese inflation figures were broadly in line with expectations.
China’s Shanghai Composite dipped 0.2 per cent, Hong
Kong’s Hang Seng 0.3 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei 0.2 per cent. S&P 500 index
futures were flat.
Brent crude futures faded 14 cents or 0.2 per cent this morning to $US64.11 a barrel. Gold added 60 cents or 0.1 per cent to $US1,465.50 an ounce.
The dollar edged up almost a tenth of a cent to 68.27 US cents.
What’s hot today and what’s not:
Hot today: the heavily-oversubscribed float of aerial mapping company Aerometrex produced instant stag profits for those lucky enough to get shares. Shares sold in the initial public offering for $1 hit the boards at twice that price this morning and were last selling at $1.89. The $25 million float got off to a blazing start after the company told shareholders it had seen strong growth across its four operating divisions since releasing its prospectus.
Not today: investors in social media platform Tinybeans have seen their investment increase tenfold in a matter of months from around 30 cents in March to $3.52 last month. Occasional bouts of profit-taking are inevitable after such a meteoric rise. Setbacks have included a two-session dive in October that stripped almost a dollar off the share price. History appeared to repeat this morning as shares tumbled 27 cents or 9.1 per cent to extend a three-session retreat.