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ASX closes 0.08% lower: BHP records big loss

Australian shares declined, tracking losses in Asian markets despite a larger-than-anticipated interest rate cut in China, driven by BHP’s lowest half-year profit in eight years. The S&P/ASX 200 retreated by 0.08%, reversing from its recent peak, with notable declines in mining and energy sectors, while upbeat performances from investment managers contrasted with setbacks in companies like Star Entertainment and Sims.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 107 points.

The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 14 points.

The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 60.25 points.

The SPI futures are down 6 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Communication Services, up 1.47 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Materials, down 1.1 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was Pro Medicus (ASX:PME), closing 8.3 per cent higher at $94.83. It was followed by shares in Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN) and Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY).

The worst-performing large cap was Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL), closing 7.79 per cent lower at $29.24. It was followed by shares in IGO (ASX:IGO) and South32 (ASX:S32).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.28 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.35 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 0.82 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,030.30 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.9 per cent lower at US$128.80 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 3.6 per cent fall.

Light crude is trading $0.30 higher at US$79.49 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 65.39 US cents.