ASX climbs, banks lift, consumer staples drag: Aus shares close 0.1% lower

The Australian sharemarket lifted in afternoon trade and eased back some of its early losses. At the closing bell, the ASX was 0.1 per cent or 8 points lower at 7,527.

Consumer staples, miners and health stocks dragged the index. Financials clawed back in the afternoon and energy closed as best performer. 

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 1.3 per cent lower, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 2.5 per cent lower and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) closed 3.2 per cent lower, after a staggering 7 per cent rise yesterday. 

Onto health stocks, CSL (ASX:CSL) closed 1 per cent lower, Fisher and Paykel (ASX:STO) closed 0.8 per cent lower, ResMed (ASX:RMD) closed 1.2 per cent lower and Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) closed 5.7 per cent lower. 

Several stocks weighed on the consumer staples sector. Retail giant Woolworths (ASX:WOL) closed 1.6 per cent lower, Endeavour (ASX:EDV) closed 2.6 per cent lower, A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) closed 1.9 per cent and supplement company Blackmores (ASX:BKL) closed 6.7 per cent lower.

Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) was among the ex-dividend stocks today, closing 1.9 per cent lower. 

Onto banks, Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) closed 0.7 per cent higher,  Westpac (ASX:WBC) closed 0.9 per cent higher and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) closed 0.7 per cent higher following their acquisiton with Ferocia, an online banking software. 

NSW recorded 1164 new Covid-19 cases while Victoria recorded 73 new cases.

Local economic news

Australian gross domestic product rose 0.7 per cent against the consensus of 0.5 per cent in the June quarter 2021. On an annual basis from June last year, GDP grew 9.6 per cent according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Head of national accounts at the ABS, Michael Smedes said “domestic demand drove growth of 0.7 per cent this quarter which saw continued growth across household spending, private investment and public sector expenditure. Lockdowns had minimal impact on domestic demand, with fewer lockdown days and the prolonged stay at home orders in NSW only commencing later in the quarter”.

Company news 

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Dexus (ASX:DXS) announced Keir Barnes to take over Alison Harrop’s role as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on 1 Oct this year, after serving 2 years as deputy CFO.

Carsales.Com (ASX:CAR) has successfully acquired a 49 per cent stake in the US digital marketplace business, Trader Interactive. 

iSignthis (ASX: ISX) announced an update in regards to getting ISX shares trading again, after not trading on the ASX for nearly 2 years.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX: BEN) has acquired 100 per cent of shares in the internet banking and software company Ferocia. 

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 110 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 15 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 47 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 7 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Energy, up 1.3 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Consumer Staples, down 1.5 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nuix (ASX:NXL), closing 5.5 per cent higher at $2.68. It was followed by shares in Alumina (ASX:AWC) and IDP Education (ASX:IEL).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Blackmores (ASX:BKL), closing 6.7 per cent lower at $93.15. It was followed by shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) and PolyNovo (ASX:PNV).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1.2 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.7 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1816.00 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.9 per cent lower at US$153.67 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 8.1 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.52 higher at US$69.02 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.29 US cents.
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