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Local markets open lower following US market lead

The S&P/ASX 200 was trading down 0.4 per cent as midday approached, weighed down by the Consumer Discretionary & Utilities sectors.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 37 points.

The gold sector was one of the worst performers in early trading as the gold rally finally took a breather overnight falling almost 1 per cent only to turnaround and move into the green as midday approached.

Iron ore producers came under pressure early as the iron ore price again fell below US$100 per tonne with BHP and RIO down close to 0.5 per cent.

Energy was the best performing sector at midday trading up 0.4 per cent after the overnight rally in oil prices driven by rising Middle East tensions. The worst-performing sector is Consumer Staples, down 0.75 per cent.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing large cap is Ampol (ASX:ALD), trading 3.45 per cent higher at $42.32. It is followed by shares in GQG Partners (ASX:GQG) and Pro Medicus (ASX:PME).

The worst-performing large cap is Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC), trading 2.49 per cent lower at $5.685. It is followed by shares in Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) and Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE).

Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$2304.70 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.0 per cent lower at US$98.30 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 2.5 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.86 US cents.

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