ASX lags before RBA inflation talk

Shares have been lower on the Australian market ahead of RBA governor Philip Lowe discussing the recent increase in inflation that has unsettled investors.

The market was down about half of one a per cent on Tuesday after rising bond yields in the US left markets there little changed.

On the ASX, materials shares were the worst performers. BHP, Rio Tinto and South32 lost a little more than one per cent each.

Inflation and a spike in unemployment have put a dent in consumer confidence.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index - a pointer to future household spending - fell 2.8 per cent.

The result comes after unemployment rose from 4.6 per cent to 5.2 per cent.

Mr Lowe will soon have the opportunity to calm fears of an inflation outbreak in Australia in an address to economists.

Inflation is also topical in the US. Retail sales data, expected in the next 24 hours, will likely reveal signs of any impact inflation has had on consumer spending.

On the market, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 36.5 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 7433.6 points.

The All Ordinaries was lower by 38.8 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 7759.4 points.

In company news, Telstra is trying to build its health and energy businesses to deliver profitable growth across its international network.

The company has outlined the plans as part of its T25 growth strategy - first unveiled in September.

The investor day presentation had shares down one per cent to $3.96.

In banking, ANZ, the Commonwealth and NAB were each down by less than 0.5 per cent. Westpac was little changed.

Best & Less Group is not expected to meet first-half sales and earnings forecasts due to the impact of coronavirus lockdowns.

The family clothing retailer joined the ASX this year.

Shares were down 2.28 per cent to $3.42.

Cancer treatment provider Imugene rose after a deal with two companies to evaluate one of the former's products.

Pfizer and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will treat patients with gastric cancer using Imugene's HER-Vaxx.

The phase two clinical trial will assess the efficacy of HER-Vaxx with and without other treatments.

Shares were up 4.34 per cent to 60 cents.

Lender Resimac reported loan settlements from July to October were up 72 per cent on the same period last year.

First-half normalised net profit is expected to be about the same or more than the prior corresponding period.

Shares were down about one per cent to $1.77.

The Australian dollar was buying 73.51 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 73.43 US cents at Monday's close.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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