Markets Live: Banks drive falls

On the local market, shares are poised to open little changed ahead of retail sales and trade data after a weak lead from Wall Street. • AUD at 93. 45 US cents, 97. 88 Japanese yen, 71. 08 Euro cents and 56. • On Wall St, S&P 500 -0. 1%, Dow +0. 1%, Nasdaq -0. • In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 +1. 2%, FTSE +0. 7%, CAC +1%, DAX +1. • Iron ore slips 1. 2% to $US85. • Australia: July retail sales and the trade balance, both from ABS at 11:30 AEST. • Europe: European Central Bank press conference at 10:30pm. • Japan: Bank of Japan monetary policy statement; Germany factory orders, Markit PMI. • Fortescue Metals says it shipped a record 15. • Origin Energy has dropped out of the auction for Infratil’s Australian energy assets and is not expected to table a final bid on September 8, sources said told the AFR‘s Street Talk column. • Noni B, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Atlas Iron, BC Iron, Wesfarmers, Woolworths.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto could earn as much $US800 million between them for at least three years when they unlock a “secret” supply of 200,000 tonnes of copper at their Escondida copper mine in Chile, Deutsche Bank says. • Canaccord Genuity has reiterated a “buy” recommendation on TFS Corp and raised its target price to $3. 44 a share, while Argonaut Equity Research also reiterated its “buy” on the stock with a target price of $2. 65 a share. • RBC Capital Markets retained a “sector perform” on ports and rail operator Asciano with a $6. 25 a share price target and said upside from here would be “dependent mostly on success of a port sale”. 9:03am: Good morning and welcome to the Markets Live blog for Thursday.

The data will be out at 11. 30am. 10:27am: Shares in Wotif. com have come under pressure this morning, dropping 5. 2 per cent to $3. 09, after the competition regulator raised possible concerns that Expedia’s $703 million proposed acquisition of the online travel site operator could lead the US travel giant to increase commission rates charged to hotels listed on the Australian accommodation site.

The dollar added about one-tenth of a cent to hit the week’s high of 93. 65 US cents minutes before the release, and is currently fetching 93. 54 US cents. 11:24am: Wotif shares have plunged by as much as 7. 4 per cent after the competition regulator raised possible concerns that Expedia’s $703 million proposed acquisition could lead to higher hotel commission rates in the Australian market.

Read more here: SMH


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