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Australia Stocks fall on profit booking

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The Australian share market finished session lower on Thursday, 12 November 2020, snapping five days of winning streak, as investors opted to lock in recent gains. At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 fell 31.46 points, or 0.49%, to 6,418.22. The broader All Ordinaries fell 31.71 points, or 0.48%, to 6,619.36.

Investors have moved out of technology and stay-at-home stocks in favor of cyclicals that would benefit from an economic recovery. That came following a Monday announcement by Pfizer and BioNTech that their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 among those without evidence of prior infection.

The falls among the financials were led by the big four banks, contributing 18 of the ASX 200's 31 point slide. All ended in the red with National Bank (NAB) falling most by 2.4% as it trades ex-dividend. The lender will pay a 30c final dividend on December 10.

The remaining big four lenders finished down by 1% or more.

Telstra (TLS) was one of the day's winners, firming 3%, with the telco proposing a further restructuring of the business at its investor day. TLS is looking to split the business into three separate entities which will enable it to take advantage of potential monetisation opportunities for its infrastructure assets. It would have infrastructure split between mobile towers and other fixed assets. The third would be its services business for customer support. The change would likely happen around December 2021.

Wesfarmers (WES) added 2.5% having provided a trading update ahead of its AGM today. WES continued to see strong online sales growth, aided by COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne, which weighed on Kmart & Target sales but Officeworks and Bunnings performed well.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar was at $0.7255, having seen levels around $0.73 yesterday.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, November 12 2020. 15:24 IST