After a recent advance for the Big Four banks, we find ANZ down 0.5%, NAB down 0.6%, Westpac down 0.7%, and CBA flat. Likewise, Macquarie is 0.6% lower, and Bank of Queensland is down 1.4% after Bell Potter cuts its rating on the shares to hold from buy, though with an unchanged price target.
Woolworths is weaker by 2.5% after issuing its quarterly sales results ahead of the open. While same-store sales rose 5.3% from a year earlier (or 5.9% when adjusting for the difference in when Easter fell), the result was still below market expectations, according to the Herald Sun.
Meanwhile, Brambles — the world’s largest maker of wooden pallets — is down 1.5% after affirming its profit outlook.
As for the miners, the major iron-ore players are trading mixed following a retreat for spot ore prices. Fortescue Metals is up 0.6%, while BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are each 0.4% higher, but Atlas Iron is down 0.9% and Mt. Gibson Iron is flat.