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Aust shares down despite NAB FY profit

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A booming NAB profit could not inspire investors to raise an Australian market which failed to follow the lead of its record high US peers.

The bank's 76 per cent gain in full-year profit was not enough for investors who turned most share categories lower on a stagnant Tuesday.

Those trading NAB shares were more concerned about a slim net interest margin and future profitability than the many customers asking for home loans.

Shares in the bank fell 0.76 per cent to $28.89.

NAB fared better than many of its peers as financials and energy stocks proved the worst categories of the trading day.

Bendigo Bank lost about two-and-a-half per cent. The others in the big four each lost more than one per cent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed lower by 18 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 7434.2.

The All Ordinaries closed down 11.6 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 7756.3.

The ASX is about 200 points short of record levels set in August.

US indices the S&P 500 and Nasdaq had an eighth straight closing high after investors cheered the passage of a US infrastructure spending bill.

Looking ahead, inflation will return to the investment conversation when US producer inflation figures are published in the next 24 hours.

IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said the impact of the data could prove limited.

He said the US Federal Reserve, which gave its monetary policy decision last week, appeared comfortable with inflation running above its target.

In Australia, companies having annual general meetings will include Beach Energy, Coles and Newcrest.

The latter revealed earlier it is buying Canadian miner Pretium Resources for $3.7 billion.

Pretium operates the high grade Bluejack gold mine in British Columbia and the deal will boost Newcrest gold production by 300,000 ounces per year.

Newcrest is buying all the remaining shares of the Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company.

Newcrest shares were down 1.58 per cent to $24.96.

Fortescue Metals rose after outlining its sustainability financing framework.

The iron ore miner will issue green bonds as part of efforts to reduce its carbon production.

Shares were up 1.81 per cent to $14.59.

BHP was about one per cent higher while Rio Tinto slipped 0.19 per cent.

Chalice Mining shares surged after the discovery of a large nickel sulphide deposit.

The finding was made at the company's Julimar site outside Perth.

Shares were up 28.51 per cent to $8.70.

James Hardie improved second-quarter earnings after strong sales in North America.

The company increased its full-year earnings forecast to between $US580 million to $US600 million.

Investors expected more and sent shares lower by 0.72 per cent to $53.94.

Westfield shopping centre operator Scentre Group has so far collected more in rent than last year, despite lockdowns.

The company collected $187 million more over the 10 months to October 31 than the same period last year.

Shares were down 1.26 per cent to $3.13.

Clothing retailer Kathmandu declined to give an earnings forecast after first-quarter sales were COVID-affected.

Operating profit for the quarter was expected to drop by $35 million on the same quarter last year due to lockdowns.

Shares were up 0.66 per cent to $1.52.

The Australian dollar was buying 74.21 US cents at 1729 AEDT, higher from 73.99 cents at Monday's close.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed lower by 18 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 7434.2 on Tuesday.

* The All Ordinaries closed down 11.6 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 7756.3.

* At 1729 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was up six points, or 0.08 per cent, at 7426 points.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT

One Australian dollar buys:

* 74.21 US cents, from 73.99 cents on Monday

* 83.72 Japanese yen, from 84.12 yen

* 63.95 Euro cents, from 64.03 cents

* 54.65 British pence, from 54.90 pence

* 103.55 NZ cents, from 103.69 cents.

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