ASX 200 lower in lunchtime trade, dragged down by weak banks and AMP shares

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The Australian share market slid further at noon as the under-fire banks extended their losses, while materials also lost some early bluster, and the energy sector also retraced gains.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 36.5 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 6,135.8 points at 1200 AEST on Tuesday, while the broader All Ordinaries took a hit of 35 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 6,257.7.

The Reserve Bank is widely expected to keep interest rates at the record low of 1.5 per cent when the board meets on Tuesday afternoon.

The financials sector was the heaviest drag on the market, dropping to its lowest point since June as the blows from the Hayne royal commission interim report began to bruise.

The big four – Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and NAB – were down between 0.94 and 1.26 per cent at noon, while Macquarie Group was down 1.39 per cent.

AMP shares were down 1.6 per cent to $3.07 following news corporate watchdog ASIC is preparing to launch the first royal commission-related legal action against the wealth manager over the fees-for-no-service scandal.

The local energy sector also lost ground but remained in the green, up 0.35 per cent as a sector thanks to higher oil prices and easing trade fears.

Origin Energy and Santos were the best energy performers with gains of 2.36 and 0.6 per cent respectively.

Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search Ltd, and Caltex Australia were flat.

The mining sector also lost ground but BHP was still up by 0.36 per cent to $34.735.

Fellow mining giant Rio Tinto was down 0.62 per cent to $78.71.

Elsewhere, health care stocks fell further with giant CSL limited, down 1.82 per cent to $199.60, weighing heavily on the sector.

The Aussie dollar continued to edge higher, buying 72.29 US cents at noon, from 72.18 US cents on Monday.

With AAP

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Contributors to this article may own shares in some of the companies mentioned in this article. The Capital Club has a thorough disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.
Lauren Surplice is a keen follower of the stock market, investing in individual companies and funds. She follows the daily stock market news, covering the ASX stocks that are moving the markets. You can contact Lauren at laurens@thecapitalclub.com.au