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ASX 200 morning report – AST, APA & BHP shares in focus

The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) looked to be moving into correction territory on Tuesday morning, opening broadly lower and continuing the weak global trend. The market fell as much as 0.3% before finishing the same amount higher.

Concern continues to grow about the outlook for the global economy but most importantly, the perceived increase in geopolitical risk following Australia’s deal with the US and UK for nuclear-powered submarines.

Evergrande’s move towards default appears to be garnering the attention of an otherwise directionless market.

APA makes a play for AusNet

It was all about AusNet Services Ltd (ASX: AST) though, with the company receiving a second offer, this time from pipeline owner APA Group (ASX: APA).

The deal is an increase on the existing $2.50 offer, moving to $2.60 and a valuation exceeding $10 billion. The AusNet share price moved another 10% higher to $2.59, but APA shares fell 4.7%.

AusNet share price chart

Source: Rask Media 1-year AST share price chart

Sticking with infrastructure, Atlas Arteria Group (ASX: ALX) jumped 2.1% after reinstating its dividend at a rate of 15.5 cents per share. This comes as the group’s US and European toll roads finally show signs of improvement.

Telstra & ResMed outperform

Every sector barring financials finished the day to the positive, with the banking sector down 0.4% but telecommunications and tech leading the way with 1.1% and 1.7% gains.

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) continues to rally following its strong investor day last week at which it highlighted an aggressive growth strategy, with shares 1.3% higher.

ResMed CDI (ASX: RMD) is also benefitting from market share gains following a competitor’s recall, with investors returning to defensive healthcare companies.

BHP & Rio Tinto stem the bleeding

Iron ore prices appear to have bottomed, hitting US$90 per tonne on the back of steel production curbs ahead of the Winter Olympics and summer season.

BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) added 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively, with prices now back around February 2021 levels following an increase early part of the year.

Consumer confidence has also moved slightly higher in August, defying the extended lockdowns, but remain well below the long-term average.

ASX 200 today

The ASX 200 is set to edge lower when the market opens on Wednesday, following a mixed lead from US markets overnight. To find out more, check out our US stock market report.

The Golden Rules of Investing

We might be experts in retirement, but with combined financial advice experience of 35+ years, we’ve nearly seen it all. 

In mid-2023, our senior team at Wattle Partners Financial Planning put the finishing touches on a brand-new report “The Golden Rules of Investing“.

In this free report, we outline the key principles that determine all of the portfolio construction and investment decisions of Wattle Partners. Collated over decades, this paper should be seen as a work-in-progress, constantly under review in light of the ever-evolving nature of markets. 

You’ll find the free report on my Author page. Simply click the button below to view the Golden Rules.

Information warning: The information on this website is published by The Rask Group Pty Ltd (ABN: 36 622 810 995) is limited to factual information or (at most) general financial advice only. That means, the information and advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not specific to you, your needs, goals or objectives. Because of that, you should consider if the advice is appropriate to you and your needs, before acting on the information. If you don’t know what your needs are, you should consult a trusted and licensed financial adviser who can provide you with personal financial product advice. In addition, you should obtain and read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before making a decision to acquire a financial product. Please read our Terms and Conditions and Financial Services Guide before using this website. The Rask Group Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (#1280930) of AFSL #383169.

At the time of publishing, the author of this article does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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Wattle Partners is a financial advice firm, servicing clients around Australia, specialising in retirement planning (pre and post retirement). 

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