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ASX 200 down despite gains from the banks

Despite shares falling on Wall Street throughout this week, Australian shares have remained “fairly well supported” this week, aided by gains from our miners on the back of improving global economic activity according to Angus Gluskie, managing director of White Funds.

Strong earnings results from companies such as JB Hi-Fi (ASX: JBH) have also provided support to the S&P/ASX 200 (^AXJO) (ASX: XJO), whilst strong gains in iron ore prices have sent shares in BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) and other miners climbing higher.

Today, the benchmark index is down 13 points, or 0.2%, and is being weighed down by heavyweight companies including QBE Insurance (ASX: QBE) and biopharmaceutical giant CSL (ASX: CSL), which are down 2.3% and 3.5%, respectively.

The major banks have given slight support to the market, with ANZ (ASX: ANZ), Westpac (ASX: WBC) and NAB (ASX: NAB) all up between 0.4% and 0.6%. Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA), on the other hand, is down again after it announced that it would not be delivering a special dividend to shareholders, opting to instead preserve capital in the case of an economic downturn.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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