A new day, week and month; it took a while for the local market to wake-up. Despite the sluggish start, the ASX200 managed to add 0.69% for the session, to close at 6993. A mix of healthcare, telcos, utilities and energy underpinned the gains. Defensive stocks are enjoying the benefits of the recent move lower in bond yields. Energy followed the lead of its US counterparts after strong results from the likes of Chevron and Exxon Mobil on Friday night. Chinese PMI data confirmed sputtering economic activity in China, with the country’s manufacturing sector declining again, which may have weighed on the Aussie dollar, as it struggles to hold above 0.7000. To the major corporate news and Westpac announced it is expecting an after tax loss of almost 1.4 billion dollars on the sale of its life insurance business to TAL. Its share price bucked broader weakness in financials today to close higher. On the reporting season front, United Malt Group's full year results are expected to miss guidance - with underlying EBITDA coming in around 100 to 108 million dollars. Its stock price fell nearly 17%. Megaport and Pointbet were big movers, dropping 14 and 13% respectively.
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