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S&P/ASX 200 weighed down by banking, energy and telco stocks

The National Australia Bank today cut its dividend to its lowest in almost nine years.

ASX boards
AMP Ltd shares dropped 2.6% to $2.25

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) erased most of yesterday’s gains with losses across the board, closing down 37 points or 0.6% to 6,338.

Banks, energy, telco and mining stocks were the biggest weights on the market.

Hard to sustain a 99 cent dividend

The National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) today cut its dividend to its lowest in almost nine years after posting a 7.1% rise in first-half cash profit to $2.95 billion, sending its shares down 0.3% to $25.70

The lender’s interim dividend has been slashed by 16% to 83 cents as interim CEO Philip Chronican conceded it had become harder and harder to sustain a 99 cent dividend.

AMP Ltd (ASX:AMP) shares dropped 2.6% to $2.25 after the wealth manager announced it had experienced net cash outflows of $1.8 billion in the first quarter.

Kidman surges

Shares in lithium developer Kidman Resources (ASX:KDR) surged 45% to $1.87 after its board backed a takeover offer from Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) of $1.90 cash per share.

The bid represents a premium of 47.3% to Kidman’s closing price yesterday of $1.29.

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