Australia’s share market has pulled back a little after climbing above a notable level on Monday.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 32.2 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 6848.5 at 1200 AEDT on Tuesday.
The All Ordinaries was down by 32.5 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 7128.3.
The biggest sectors, financials and materials, lost 0.37 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.
There were losses of more than one per cent for utilities, property, consumer discretionaries and industrials.
The ASX200 on Monday closed higher than 6800 points, a level which it struggled to top since November.
Yet Tuesday’s drop in the indices may suggest investors are not prepared to push prices higher.
Earlier, all three major US stock indices closed higher.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said if Congress approves President Joe Biden’s $US1.9 trillion fiscal aid package, the nation could return to full employment next year.
That package came closer to passage when lawmakers approved a budget outline that would enable Democrats to muscle it through Congress without Republican support.
Vaccine deployment, meanwhile, pushes ahead in the United States. At least 32,780,860 doses have been given, and new infections were trending lower.
In Australia, the National Australia Bank released its monthly business survey with leading indicators continuing to point to economic recovery.
Confidence rose five index points in January, to an above average 10 points, while business conditions fell to seven index points from 16.
On the ASX, Afterpay set a record price of $159.00, then eased to be 1.48 per cent higher to $155.74.
Building materials supplier Boral flagged weak demand for building units and commercial property could affect second-half earnings, after first-half earnings slipped.
The company said the outlook for its second half was uncertain due to weakness in multi-residential and non-residential construction in Australia.
Boral reported first-half earnings from continuing operations were down eight per cent to $215 million, compared to the previous first-half.
Shareholders will not receive an interim dividend. The previous interim payout was 9.5 cents per share, 50 per cent franked.
Shares were down 1.1 per cent to $5.35.
Suncorp will stop underwriting travel insurance for Australians in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to focus on its bigger core operations.
It will also cease offering personal loans in favour of expanding its more profitable home lending business.
The group reported cash earnings of $509 million for the first half of 2020/21, up 39.5 per cent.
Investors will receive an interim dividend of 26 cents per share.
Shares were higher by 2.77 per cent to $10.73.
The big four banks, as well as Bendigo Bank, were all down by more than one per cent.
Miners were mixed. BHP shed 0.13 per cent to $44.78, Fortescue gained 0.25 per cent to $23.78 and Rio Tinto lost 0.7 per cent to $116.37.
Earlier in the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 237.52 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 31,385.76, the S&P 500 gained 28.76 points, or 0.74 per cent, to 3,915.59 and the Nasdaq Composite added 131.35 points, or 0.95 per cent, to 13,987.64.
The Aussie dollar was buying 77.15 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 76.76 US cents at Monday’s close.
Source by 7news.com.au