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Markets Live: Shares defy weak economic data

Shares jump into the black despite weak Chinese data and local retail spending falling in July, which is weighing on the dollar.

5.28pm: That's all for today - thanks everyone for reading this blog and posting your comments.

Here's our evening wrap of today's session.

5.10pm: The dollar, meanwhile, touched a new six-week low against the greenback today, hit by the weak local and international data.


The dollar is currently trading at $US1.0264 after earlier falling as low as $US1.0240.

‘‘You have both domestic and external hits to the Aussie,’’ says Callum Henderson, global head of currency research at Standard Chartered. ‘‘Domestically, the retail sales number was much worse than expected. The Chinese data is obviously bad for Australian exports, so data is weak across the board.’’

5.07pm: Australian 10-year bond yields closed at 3.07 per cent after earlier falling as much as nine basis points, or 0.09 percentage point, to 3 per cent, the lowest since July 27. The bonds advanced for a 12th day, the longest stretch of gains since at least 1990.

Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

4.45pm: Economists pretty much unanimously agree that the RBA will keep rates unchanged tomorrow, but they say today's weak retail sales data - which came in well below even the most pessimistic predictions - could contribute to shifting the central bankers' sentiment over the next months.

‘‘Sentiment is pretty fragile given everything that’s going on in the euro area,’’ says James McIntyre, a senior economist at Commonwealth Bank.

‘‘If this weak retail outcome is something that consumers latch onto, then that could be something that starts to swing broader sentiment in favour of another rate cut, despite what the RBA has been saying over the last few months.’’

4.45pm: The Reserve Bank's index of commodity prices fell 3 per cent in August, from July, when measured in special drawing rights (SDR) terms.

The drop followed a revised 0.9 per cent increase in July. The largest contributors to the fall in August were declines in the prices of iron ore and coking coal. The prices of rural commodities and base metals also declined, while prices for oil and gold rose in the month.

4.20pm: Here's how some of the blue chips performed:

  • BHP: -1.2% (ex-dividend)
  • Rio: +1.2%
  • ANZ: +0.1%
  • CBA: +0.5%
  • NAB: +0.4%
  • Westpac: +0.3%
  • Woolies: +1.3%
  • Wesfarmers: +2.1%
  • Qantas: +1.7%
  • Telstra: +0.8%
  • Newcrest: +1.5%

4.15pm: Among the major sectors, financials gained 0.2 per cent, energy ended flat, while materials slipped 0.3 per cent. Gold stocks climbed 2.5 per cent, telcos added 0.8 per cent and consumer staples rose 1.1 per cent.

4.12pm: The market has closed slightly higher, with the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rising 7.6 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4323.7, while the broader All Ords gained 6.6 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4345.6.

4.10pm: Miners have cut their spending on exploration for the first time since the global financial crisis, with further falls expected after the recent plunge in commodity prices.

The Bureau of Statistics today said mining exploration in the June quarter retreated from a record high, dropping by $53 million to $1.02 billion.

The decline – the first since March 2009 – was driven by weaker spending in mining boom states of Queensland and Western Australia.

It occurred before the 30 per cent drop in iron ore prices of recent months, with iron ore exploration rising strongly during the June quarter.

4.05pm: European stock futures point to a lower open, with the HSBC survey showing a contraction in China's manufacturing activity dampening sentiment and prompting investors to trade in a tight range before this week's meeting of the European Central Bank.

Futures for Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX and France's CAC are down 0.4-0.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, Dow and S&P futures are down 0.2-0.3 per cent.

3.55pm: Today's raft of poor economic data will be weighed up by the Reserve Bank tomorrow when it holds its September policy meeting, but economists still expect rates to remain on hold at 3.5 per cent for a third straight month.

Bank officials have sounded content to wait for cuts made in May and June to make themselves fully felt.

But interbank futures have narrowed the odds of a cut further out, giving a 2-in-3 chance of a move in October and are fully priced for a cut to 3.25 per cent in November.

Investors are wagering the central bank will have to ease again largely to offset the drag on global growth from Europe and, increasingly, China.

"Today's data provides a worrying sign that retail spending growth has taken a backward step," wrote economists at St George.

"Although we expect the RBA to sit pat when it meets tomorrow, ongoing softness in retail spending along with the continued concerns about the global economy supports the view that there is another rate cut on the cards," they added, forecasting a move in November.

3.30pm: Australia’s biggest wine brand, Jacob’s Creek, has reversed its run of sales declines following a renewed focused on offering premium wine to drinkers, reporting today positive global sales of 2% for financial 2012 after posting a 1 per cent drop in revenue in the previous year, Eli Greenblat reports.

The number one Australian bottled wine brand by both value and volume has also accelerated its penetration into the highly attractive Chinese market with 32% growth in net sales for 2011-12 driven by a dedicated marketing and portfolio strategy which last year saw Jacob’s Creek advertising and promotional activity expand from 5 to 24 cities.

3.17pm:  Hundreds more Darrell Lea workers will lose their jobs after a deal was struck to sell the troubled chocolate maker.

The confectionary company has been sold to the Quinn family, which plans to restructure the loss-making business.

The family says the restructure will result in 246 permanent and 172 casual Darrell Lea employees being made redundant.

3.07pm: Shipping delays are expected at the commodities port of Geraldton in Western Australia as authorities prepare to shut down operations before a major storm buffets the area.

WA’s Fire and Emergency Services Authority has issued a severe weather warning from Geraldton, about 450km north of Perth, to Bremer Bay, about 500km southeast of the capital, saying destructive winds were expected to sweep through the state’s entire southwest corner.

Geraldton Port chief executive Peter Klein says the only ship in the harbour will be sent to deeper waters and the port will be closed to all shipping movements later today in anticipation of a storm surge.

2.58pm: Asian markets are mostly higher after more weak Chinese manufacturing data fuelled hopes for fresh monetary easing, following hints from the US Fed chief about similar moves in the United States.

Tokyo has slipped 0.39 per cent by the break but Hong Kong added 0.12 per cent, Shanghai is 0.22 per cent higher and Seoul has put on 0.3 per cent.

Fears over growth in China were stoked again on Saturday when the official purchasing managers' index (PMI) of manufacturing activity fell to a nine-month low of 49.2 in August from 50.1 in July, owing to slumping demand in the key export markets of Europe and the United States.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while one below 50 points to contraction.

2.49pm: Nomura Holdings says it will cut $US1.0 billion ($975.28 million) in costs as part of a bid to repair its balance sheet as Japan’s biggest brokerage recovers from an embarrassing insider trading scandal.

The firm says it plans to usher in the cuts by March 2014, chopping expenses from its wholesale division, which includes investment banking, equities and fixed-income businesses.

In July, Nomura said its fiscal first quarter profit to June shrank almost 90 per cent owing to weakness in its retail and wholesale trading business.

Like many investment banks, Nomura has struggled with yo-yoing stock and bond prices, poor merger prospects and tightening regulation in the wake of the global financial crisis.

2.27pm: ANZ points out that today's data are for more than two months ago and the decline in iron ore and coal commodity prices so far in Q3 will weigh significantly on mining profits in at least the current quarter. Here's their take on the data:

  • Company profits fell in Q2 (-0.7% q/q) against market expectations for a modest increase. We had been expecting a slightly larger fall, in line with our expectation that Australia’s terms of trade declined modestly in Q2. The decline in profits was relatively broadly based across industries.
  • However, adjusting for inventory valuation changes, which is more relevant for the national accounts measure of profits, company profits declined 3.0% q/q.
  • Inventories rose by a little more than expected in Q2 but when combined with an upward revision to the Q1 outcome implies a subtraction from Q2 GDP growth of around ¼ppt.
  • Aggregate wages and salaries rose modestly (+0.8% q/q) following a sharp rise in Q1.

2.15pm: Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan stands by his decision to sell Australia's largest cotton farm to a Chinese-dominated consortium, saying jobs would have been lost without this investment.

Mr Swan announced on Friday the approval of the sale of an initial 80 per cent stake in Queensland's Cubbie Station to textile manufacturer RuYi, which is owned by investors based in China and Japan.

The approval followed an assessment by the Foreign Investment Review Board. But Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce has called on Australians to lobby against the deal, saying the sale isn't in Australia's national interest.

2.03pm: As mentioned earlier, quarterly company inventories, another official measure of the economy that along with operating profits contribute to the gross domestic product reading to be released Wednesday, rose 0.6 per cent in the June quarter, following a 1.3 per cent rise in the previous quarter, the ABS says. Economists had  expected a 0.2 per cent increase.

4Cast Ltd economist Celeste Tay says the rise in inventories implies a 0.3 percentage point subtraction from GDP growth in the second quarter - which will be released on Wednesday.

‘‘Inventory drag in the quarter is consistent with our view that firms likely scaled back production in anticipation of a softening in the domestic economy and external demand,’’ she says.

1.53pm: UBS interest rate strategist Matthew Johnson says the unexpected fall in domestic retail sales has strengthened for the case for a rate cut later in the year, and the data was ‘‘the weakest group of releases I have seen since 2009".

"Everything is bad... It definitely raises the risk (for the RBA) to cut rates this year, maybe November or December."

1.44pm: Australia’s unemployment rate is likely to post a slight rise in August, with employers continuing to put on staff but not enough to match the increase in the available labour force.

The median expectation is for unemployment to rise to 5.3 per cent, from 5.2 per cent in July, and an increase of 5000 in total jobs, an AAP survey of 16 economists shows.

The official figures this week (on Thursday) are also expected to show the participation rate steady at 65.2 per cent.

CMC chief market strategist Michael McCarthy says the job figures were likely to show no notable rise in unemployment or the participation rate, although there had been some jobs would have been added to the economy.

‘‘While there are areas of real softness in the Australian economy, those areas have been grabbing the headlines."

1.30pm: Crude prices are lower with traders disappointed after US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke didn't confirm stimulus measures during a closely-watched speech, analysts say.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, shed 24 cents to $US96.23 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for October delivery fell 17 cents to $US114.40.

Crude markets are digesting Bernanke's speech at a central bankers' summit in Jackson Hole where he did not announce a firm timetable for stimulus measures, IG Markets says in a report.

1.22pm: Both BHP and Fairfax are trading ex-dividend today, taking 54.5 cents off BHP and 1 cent off Fairfax.

1.15pm: Adele Ferguson in her midday First Mover column points to the discrepancy between a just released report on retail and what investors (and today's data) think of the sector:

The latest report by Dun & Bradstreet indicates that retailers expect consumers to spend up big this Christmas period, with sales expectations for the December quarter hitting highs not seen since 2003.

The Dun & Bradstreet survey says to meet the Christmas rush retailers are in the process of increasing their product orders and staff. Indeed, the survey says that the inventory index has risen from negative eight to 33.

The report follows a report released by Deloitte Access Economics, showing that retail sales growth has risen 2.8 per cent in the six months to June 30, which is a stronger result than the previous two years.

But the surveys are taken from a consumer and a retailer point of view rather than an investor perspective, which is concerned about the structural shift going on in retail.

A look at the 25 most shorted stocks in the past two months shows that retail stocks dominate.

Here's the full yarn

1.03pm: Some more on today's surprise drop in retail sales: much of the weakness came in department stores where sales fell a steep 10.2 per cent, the largest drop in seven years, after government handouts boosted spending in May and June.

"It is a bit strange that most of the fall is concentrated in department stores,," said Michael Turner, a strategist at RBC Capital Markets. "All up, fairly consistent with the impact of the cash handouts fading into the second half of the year."

"We've had (interest rate) cuts in our profile for quite some time now and this data is consistent with that, but they don't make too much of a case for cuts to come sooner rather than later."

12.52pm: As the local stockmarket's fortunes improve for the day, worth taking a look at how our neighbours across the region are doing:

  • Japan (Nikkei): -0.4%
  • Hong Kong: +0.3%
  • Shanghai: +0.2%
  • Taiwan: +0.75%
  • Korea: -0.1%
  • Singapore: -0.2%
  • New Zealand: flat

12.48pm: All the blue chips are trading higher now, with the big banks and Newcrest Mining (+2.9%) doing most of the heavy lifting.

12.45pm: Just about all sectors are in the black now (exception is health, which is down 0.2 per cent), with the gold sub-index leading gains (up 3.4%), followed by consumer staples (+0.8%) and financials (+0.5%. Materials are up 0.2 per cent.

12.42pm: The sharemarket doesn't seem to mind the weak local and Chinese economic data, as the ASX200 turns positive for the first time today. Maybe investors are punting on more stimulus in China after the disappointing PMI.

12.35pm: Some more gloomy data in from China: HSBC's manufacturing index has dropped to 47.6 in August, its weakest reading since March 2009 and lower than a preliminary reading of 47.8.

To recap amid the flood of PMI data coming out of China: On Saturday, China released the official purchasing managers' index, which dropped to 49.2 in August, from 50.1 in July.

The HSBC reading is a private index, which is considered by some in the market to be more reliable than the official numbers. In this case both are showing that manufacturing activity is on slowing.

12.22pm: Stocks, meanwhile, are mounting a fightback. The ASX200 is now down 2.9 points to 4313.2.

12.16pm: Challenging financial times have forced many businesses to freeze salaries. However rather than leading to a staff crisis, experts say this could help managers focus on the things in a workplace that employees really care about.

More here.

12.04pm: More on the retail figures: department store sales tumbled 10.2 per cent, making them the largest single contributor to the July retail sales fall, the ABS says. So-called 'other' retailing fell 2.8 per cent while clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing slipped 0.9 per cent.

Household goods retailing rose 2.4 per cent in the month, ahead of cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services which increased 0.3 per cent in the month, the ABS data shows.

11.54am: The ABS has also reported a 0.7 per cent drop in company gross operating profits during the June quarter as well as a 0.6 per cent rise in business inventories.

11.50am: The dollar has fallen on the data's release. It fell from $US1.0274 to $US1.0240 and is now at $US1.0245.

11.43am: "Retail spending surprised heavily on the downside in July," says Moody's analyst Katrina Ell.

"Helped by carbon tax compensation, we saw green shoots of a recovery in spending in June but this has not flowed through to July," she says.

"Until there is a sustained improvement in consumer sentiment, retail spending will keep disappointing. Consumers are stubbornly cautious, particularly about household finances and future economic conditions."

11.34am: Hot on the heels of the jobs ads data, the ABS has released retail trade figures for July, and retail spending fell 0.8 per cent in the month. More in a moment.

11.30am: The ANZ jobs ads have arrived and they are down 2.3 per cent for August, pointing to a softening labour market even in the resource-rich states.

According to the ANZ job ads series, which looks at job ad numbers in newspapers and online, ad numbers have declined for five months in a row, and are now 9.6 per cent below this time last year.

The 2.3 per cent fall last month follows declines of 0.8 per cent in July, 1.1 per cent in June, 2.7 per cent in May and 0.9 per cent in April.

The job ad fall was across the board, but much steeper in newspapers - internet job ads fell by 2.1 per cent, but by 6.1 per cent in newspapers.

11.15am: Stocks are fighting back slowly. BHP going ex-dividend may have amplified the negativity on markets this morning, but reaching 0.5 per cent lower, markets have halved that loss. Both the All Ords and the ASX200 are now 0.2 per cent lower.

11.05am: AMP, BHP Billiton, QR National and WorleyParsons are all trading ex-dividend today. AMP shares are 3.1 per cent lower, QR National shares are 2 per cent lower and WorleyParsons shares are 2.5 per cent lower. As noted a couple of posts ago, BHP shares are about 2.3 per cent down.

11am: The banks are trading lower but broadly in line with the general market:

  • CBA is 0.46% lower to $54.49
  • ANZ is 0.52% lower to $24.69
  • NAB is 0.1% lower to $25.185
  • Westpac is 0.61% lower to $24.61

10.57am: Here is Michael Pascoe's video on what we've got to look forward to this week. In a nutshell, lots of local economics news now that reporting season has concluded.

10.54am: Mixed fortunes among the big miners today:

  • BHP is 2.37% lower to $31.035
  • Rio is 0.24% higher to $49.36
  • Fortescue is 0.85% lower to $3.51

10.49am: Matt Sherwood, head of investment market research at Perpetual, said the sharemarket has fallen today because of the lack of stimulus from the US Federal Reserve combined with the slowdown in China.

"It probably has taken a bit of the momentum out of the market and it shows some signs that things aren't as rosy as people think," he said. "As a result, we have seen prices come off a bit."

Mr Sherwood said that markets had pushed higher for three months on the expectations of further stimulus and a that things would in China could improve.

"But at the moment, that's just not eventuating because the downturn there is deeper and more protracted than what the market was expecting."

Despite stimulatory policy the global growth outlook remains "very clouded and quite aenemic," said Mr Sherwood.

"At the moment, it does look like the bears are just starting to regroup after a three month rally by the bulls."

10.44am: To the early winners on the ASX200:

  • APN News & Media: +14.04%
  • OceanaGold: +5.51%
  • Silver Lake Resources: +5.39%
  • Kingsgate: +5.14%
  • Medusa Mining: +4.63%

10.40am: To the early sliders on the ASX200:

  • Mirabela Nickel: -5.36%
  • FKP Property: -5%
  • Sigma: -4.09%
  • Audsrill: -3.93%
  • Energy World Corp: -3.92%
  • Lynas: -3.91%

10.35am: A couple of tweets from Stephen Koukoulas on the performance of the dollar this morning:

10.31am: A private measure of inflation has posted its largest monthly increase in almost 18 months but very little is from the carbon tax.

The TD Securities-Melbourne Institute inflation gauge rose 0.6 per cent in August, the biggest month-on-month increase since March 2011.

TD Securities head of Asia-Pacific Securities Annette Beacher said there did not appear to be any notable impact from the July 1 introduction of the carbon tax, given the unchanged state of utility prices in August.

‘‘While fruit and vegetable prices rose strongly, it is difficult to extract if the carbon tax is a contributing factor,’’ she said.

The latest monthly increase follows a 0.2 per cent rise in July but a 0.2 per cent fall in June, according to the survey published on Monday. The inflation gauge rose 2.2 per cent in the year to August - which was well within the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA’s) two to three per cent inflation target band.

10.24am: Eight out of ten sub indices on the ASX200 are lower:

  • Health: -0.97%
  • Materials: -0.72%
  • Energy: -0.61%
  • Consumer disc.: -0.55%
  • Industrials: -0.48%
  • Info tech: +0.5%
  • Telecoms: +0.12%

10.20am: The Aussie dollar has just hit a fresh low for today of $US1.0262, half a US cent lower than in late trade on Friday.

10.15am: In early trade, the All Ordinaries index is 20.4 points lower, or 0.5 per cent, to 4318.6, while the benchmark S&P/ASX200 is 22.3 points lower, or 0.5 per cent, to 4293.8.

10.12am: Investors are clearly giving the weak Chinese manufacturing data more weight than Ben Bernanke's comments. Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, says: 

Given the importance of China’s manufacturing sector to Australian resource stocks and the recent sharp fall in iron ore prices, investors are sensitive to the possibility there is still worse to come. The worse than expected PMI reading and its decline under 50 do not suggest any bottoming out at this stage.

10.10am: Shares in Qantas, however, are 2 per cent higher. Here are soe of the other early winners:

  • APN News & Media: +8.8%
  • Kingsgate: +6.8%

10.09am: Shares in Virgin Australia are down 2.2 per cent after Etihad increased its stake to 10 per cent.

10.07am: Early take - stocks open lower but trending up. Down 0.1 per cent as markets open.

10.02am: From the RPData-Rismark release:

Capital city home values in Australia rose by 1.6 per cent over the last three months, however, during the seasonally slower month of August, value growth flat lined. Seven of Australia’s eight capital cities have registered capital gains over the last three months with the exception being Adelaide.

10.00am: National home prices were unchanged in August, according to the latest release in the RPData-Rismark home price series. More on this shortly.

9.59am: A couple of analyst rating changes for this morning:

  • Grange Resources downgraded to 'neutral' at UBS
  • OceanaGold raised to 'buy' at Goldman Sachs
  • Western Areas NL cut to 'sell' at Goldman

9.57am: Here’s a note from the small business desk. The number of people running part-time businesses is at its highest in a decade, a new report shows.

In the 10 years to May, the number of part-time businesses jumped almost a third, according to the Bankwest Business Trends Report, based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data. 

9.54am: Australian bond futures prices have rise to a one-month high after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke signalled the US central bank was leaning towards fresh stimulus measures.

JP Morgan interest rate strategist Sally Auld said local bond futures rallied in the wake of Dr Bernanke’s highly anticipated speech to central bankers from across the globe at a summit at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday night (Australian time).

At 8.30am AEST the September 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 97.050 (implying a yield of 2.950 per cent), its highest level in a month, up from 96.995 (implying a yield of 3.002 per cent). The September three-year bond futures contract was at 97.590, 2.410 per cent), also a one-month-high, up from 97.550 (2.450 per cent).

9.50am: The economics data has started rolling in. Australia's manufacturing sector has contracted for the sixth straight month, but at a slower rate.

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group)/PwC Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index rose five points points to 45.3 in August, indicating the sector continued to shrink, although the rate of contraction had slowed.

A reading of below 50 indicates a contraction with the distance below 50 reflecting the strength of the decrease. The private sector survey has shown a decline in activity for every month since March. Full story.

9.47am: Deutsche Bank has released a downbeat assessment of the short to medium term prospects for Lynas.

In a note, analyst Chris Terry wrote that Lynas may need $150 million to get the the company through to first cashflows. Mr Terry wrote that the amount allowed for a possible overrun of capital expenditure on phase two of its Malaysian plant, and may need to go to the market for the funds.

Deutsche Bank cut the stock to 'sell' from 'buy'.

9.44am: In news this morning, Etihad Airways has doubled its stake in Virgin Australia to 10 per cent, six weeks after receiving the all clear from the federal regulator. The Middle East carrier says it has bought 221 million shares on the open market.

"We are very pleased to have reached this threshold," Etihad chief executive officer James Hogan said in a statement late on Sunday.

"We support the management strategy of Virgin Australia and will continue to work closely with them on ways to improve our business."

9.41am: Here's the main local business news for the rest of the week:

  • Tuesday: RBA interest rate decision. Rates are expected to be left on hold at 3.5 per cent.
  • Wednesday: GDP for June quarter. A Bloomberg survey of economists expects a 0.8% gain for the quarter, taking the annual rate to 3.7%. Also: AiG performance of services index
  • Thursday: ABS employment data for August. A Bloomberg survey of economists expects 5000 new jobs to have been added in August but the unemployment rate to rise from 5.2 per cent to 5.3 per cent. Also: AiG performance of services index for August
  • Friday:AiG performance of construction index, ABS trade balance for July

9.38am: Investors will have no shortage of information this week about the health or otherwise of the Australian economy. The main items on the agenda are tomorrow's decision on official interest rates by the RBA tomorrow, GDP data for the June quarter on Wednesday and official jobs data for August due on Thursday.

The week gets off to a flyer. Here's what to look out for today:
  • AiG performance of manufacturing (PMI) index, August
  • TD Securities inflation gauge for August
  • Retail sales for July. Bloomberg survey prediction (MoM): +0.2% / Prior: 1.0%
  • ANZ job advertisements for August: July survey showed a fall of 0.8%
  • RPData-Rismark house prices for August
  • Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) index of commodity prices for August
  • Dun and Bradstreet business expectations survey

9.35am: RBS Morgans investment adviser Todd Kerslake said China's weak PMI at the weekend may weigh on stocks although he still expects a stronger opening.

"That (PMI) data will need to be absorbed by the market this morning and that could have an adverse effect on the iron ore stocks. They've been seasonally weak unfortunately of late," he said.

"But then those falls might be countered by the rise on Wall Street. I think we'll open marginally stronger, although we're obviously not going to shoot the lights out this morning."

9.32am: European and US markets welcomed Fed Chairman's Ben Bernanke's promise of support for the struggling US economy, but the reaction among investors was modest. Wall Street added about 0.6 per cent, pointing Australian shares higher to start the week.

But the relief surrounding Bernanke's words was shortlived, certainly from an Australian perspective. Around midday Saturday, China reported that its manufacturing output shrank for the first time in nine months signalling the growth slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy may be deepening. That's likely to keep a lid on gains on the ASX today.

For a comprehensive look at this morning’s business news, check today’s need2know. Here are this morning’s key market links:

9.30am: Good morning folks. Welcome to the Markets Live blog for Monday.

This blog is not intended as investment advice

BusinessDay with agencies


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