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ASX closes 0.03% lower as disappointing earnings flocks in

On Wednesday, the ASX experienced a slight decline, ending a four-day winning streak, with the ASX 200 falling by 0.03%, attributed to disappointing earnings reports from major companies. Australia’s consumer price index remained steady at 3.4%, below analysts’ expectations, indicating a continued disinflationary trend, potentially paving the way for interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia later in 2024. Despite mixed performances across sectors, the tech sector saw notable gains, led by NextDC’s impressive half-year report, while energy stocks rose modestly alongside fluctuations in oil prices, and Chalice Mining emerged as the day’s top performer amidst ongoing short interest.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 24 points.

The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 1.5 points.

The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 17 points.

The SPI futures are up 6 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 2.88 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Consumer Staples, down 0.81 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was NEXTDC (ASX:NXT), closing 13.13 per cent higher at $17.15. It was followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and IGO (ASX:IGO).

The worst-performing large cap was Fortescue (ASX:FMG), closing 5.52 per cent lower at $26.00. It was followed by shares in Reece (ASX:REH) and Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.02 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.04 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.37 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,039.40 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1.9 per cent higher at US$118.20 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.13 per cent rise.

Light crude is trading $0.30 lower at US$78.57 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 65.18 US cents.