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13/08/19
       
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The Australian share market finished up slightly, with a lifting in healthcare and consumer discretionary shares outweighing losses for the mining sector.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Monday closed up 5.9 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 6,590.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries closed up 6.7 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 6,670.1.

But despite being down most of the day in the end the ASX managed to extend its winning streak to four straight days.

The major miners were weaker as iron ore prices continued to drop on fears of a slowing global economy, increased production by Vale and higher steel inventory in China. Iron ore prices were down 20 per cent in a week.

Gold miners were also under pressure as the price of the precious metal retreated from its recent peak of just over $US1,500.

Newcrest was down 3.3 per cent, Evolution down 2.9 per cent and Northern Star down 3.1 per cent.

Dacian Gold, however, soared 16.9 per cent after reporting that production in July had rebounded at its Mt Morgans mine near Laverton in Western Australia.

Healthcare gained 1.2 per cent, with biotech giant CSL up 1.3 per cent to $222.78.

The big banks were up, with Westpac and Commonwealth each gaining 0.7 per cent, to $28.41 and $79.94, respectively, ANZ rising 0.6 per cent to $27.16, and NAB up 0.4 per cent to $27.75.

Bendigo and Adelaide gained 3.4 per cent to $11.11 despite its earnings dropping 6.6 per cent to $415 million.

JB Hi-Fi was the biggest gainer among the ASX200, with its shares soaring 10 per cent to a record high high $30.75 after lifting full-year profit 7.1 per cent to $249.8 million.

Real estate listing companies REA Group and Domain Holdings were sharply higher, with realestate.com.au owner REA up 6.3 per cent to a record high $102.75 and Domain gaining 4.7 per cent to $2.89.

Latex glove manufacturer Ansell was up 6.0 per cent to $27.41 after announcing full-year profit was up 4.7 per cent to $US150.9 million ($A222 million).

GPT Group dropped 2.6 per cent after the diversified property group said its half-year profit after tax was down 52 per cent, while Charter Hall Long WALE REIT gained 1.9 per cent to hit a record high $5.38 after declaring its profit was up 2.0 per cent.

A number of other companies rose after reporting earnings, including wealth management software company Praemium (up 3.0 per cent), oil and gas producer Cooper Energy (up 3.7 per cent), rail operator Aurizon (up 1.9 per cent) and listed investment company Argo Investments (up 0.4 per cent).

International Markets

US stocks have dropped in a broad sell-off as simmering geopolitical tensions spooked equity investors and drove a bond market rally, while the protracted US-China trade war stoked fears of an impending recession.

All three major US stock indexes closed sharply lower in light trading, with little to soothe market jitters over Hong Kong protests, Argentine President Mauricio Macri's primary election defeat, and the US-China tariff dispute that has rattled markets for months.

The flight from risk sent gold prices up one per cent on Monday, hovering at a more than six-year high.

The closely watched yield spread between US two-year and 10-year notes narrowed to its smallest difference since at least 2010, according to Refinitiv data.

Goldman Sachs Group said on Sunday its economists see recessionary risks increasing as the US-China trade war drags on.

Data on inflation, housing starts and retail sales are due later in the week and will be scrutinised for further signs of economic softening.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 391 points, or 1.49 per cent, to 25,896.44, the S&P 500 lost 35.96 points, or 1.23 per cent, to 2882.69 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 95.73 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 7863.41.

All 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 ended the session in negative territory, with financials, materials, energy and consumer discretionary suffering the largest percentage drops.

Second-quarter reporting season is approaching the finish line, with 452 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 73.5 per cent have beaten consensus estimates.

Looking ahead to the third quarter, there have been 58 negative pre-announcements compared with 19 positive, resulting in a 3.1 negative-positive ratio, higher than the 2.7 average since 1997, according to Refinitiv.

Streaming platform Roku gained 7.2 per cent after a research note from Needham picked the stock over larger rival Netflix.

Shares of Amgen advanced 4.9 per cent following a court ruling that upheld two patents relating to its drug Enbrel.

Coach owner Tapestry and Versace owner Capri dropped 3.9 per cent and 4.4 per cent respectively, after Chinese social media criticised the companies for selling T-shirts that showed Chinese-controlled territories of Hong Kong and Macau as countries.

Media companies CBS and Viacom are in the final stages of negotiating an all-stock merger that values Viacom at a discount to its Friday closing price, sending Viacom shares down 4.9 per cent.

Source: Morningstar

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