ASX opens flat ahead of RBA meeting

The Australian share market has opened flat ahead of the central bank’s decision on monetary policy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 5.3 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 6,693.6 points at 1030 AEST on Tuesday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 4.4 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 6,805.0 points.

Property trusts and consumer discretionary shares led gains in the first half hour of trading, adding 0.74 per cent and 0.71 per cent respectively.

Mirvac was up 0.8 per cent, Dexus gained 1.2 per cent and Scentre Group rose 0.38 per cent.

Domino’s Pizza added 1.1 per cent, Harvey Norman was up 0.4 per cent and Reef Casino Trust climbed 3.9 per cent.

The materials and energy sectors had the steepest early losses.

Mining giant BHP was down 0.5 per cent to $36.55, Rio Tinto was flat at $92.68 and Fortescue Metals was down 0.5 per cent to $8.755.

Trading in the big four banks was subdued, with ANZ flat at $28.52, Commonwealth up 0.1 per cent to $80.93, NAB up 0.1 per cent to $29.73 and Westpac up 0.1 per cent to $29.67.

Macquarie Group was up 0.3 per cent, Bank of Queensland was down 0.4 per cent while Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was flat.

Suncorp was up 0.4 per cent after the group said it was selling its car repair business to AMA Group for $420 million.

On Wall Street overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.36 per cent, the S&P 500 was up 0.50 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 0.75 per cent.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will announce its decision on the cash rate at 1430 AEST on Tuesday, with analysts from all of the big four retail banks expecting it to make another cut to an unprecedented low of 0.75 per cent.

The Aussie dollar is buying 67.56 US cents, from 67.54 US cents on Monday.


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