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Australian Stock Exchange Little Changed, IT And Property Higher

Shares on the Australian market were doing little, as the big banks and miners had marginal losses.

SYDNEY — Australia’s share market little changed on April 13 as marginal losses in the heavyweight bank and mining companies were offset by gains in technology and property.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up two points, or 0.02 percent, to 6976 at 1200 Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

The All Ordinaries was higher by 5.3 points, or 0.07 percent, to 7230.5 points. The indices have traded modestly higher for most of the session.

The materials sector, which includes miners, was down 0.29 percent. The financial sector was down 0.05 percent.

Information technology had the greatest gains, 2.28 percent. The property sector was next best, up 0.44 percent, while health and consumer staples gained by nearly as much.

US markets closed lower as investors waited for cues from the upcoming corporate earnings season and a key inflation report later this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 55.2 points, or 0.16 percent, to 33,745.4, the S&P 500 lost 0.81 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 4,127.99 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 50.19 points, or 0.36 percent, to 13,850.00.

US consumer price data for March is due late on April 13 night (AEST), and an inflation scare could drive bond yields higher. In Australia, the NAB business conditions index rose eight points to a record 25 index points, while confidence eased three points to an index of 15.

Businesses have extended their rebound from last year’s coronavirus recession, and strong forward orders point to growing activity.

Meanwhile, the opportunity to travel to New Zealand has lifted the mood of Australians. The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index jumped 5.9 percent, reaching its highest level since September 2019.

Ratings agency Fitch has changed its outlook on two Aussie banks. Fitch revised its long-term issuer rating for ANZ and Westpac from negative to stable. The agency said this reflected improved economic prospects in Australia.

ANZ was down 0.13 percent to AUD 28.83 ($21.9) and Westpac was lower by 0.23 percent to AUD 25.24 ($19.17).

Among the other banks in the big four, the Commonwealth was up 0.24 percent to AUD 86.93 ($66.02) and NAB was down 0.26 percent to AUD 26.76 ($20.32).

There were some big moves for buy now, pay later stocks.

Splitit said bank card services provider UnionPay would make paying by Splitit available to customers. UnionPay’s network is used by 55 million businesses and many in China. Splitit shares were up 9.61 percent to 85 cents.

Zip provided third-quarter figures and claimed record quarterly sales of AUD 114.4 million ($86.89 million), an 80 percent increase on the same quarter last year.

The company reported similar percentage increases in businesses using its service, and customer numbers. Shares rose 9.73 percent to AUD 9.13 ($6.93).

In mining, Rio Tinto had the greatest losses of the big three miners. Shares were down almost one percent to AUD 113.74 ($86.39).

The Australian dollar was buying 76.11 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 76.12 US cents at April 12 close.

(Edited by Amrita Das and Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar)

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