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ASX closes 0.6% lower: Reserve Bank of Australia leaves cash rate unchanged

The Australian sharemarket declined as the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left the cash rate unchanged and hinted at potential interest rate hikes due to high inflation, leading to a decrease in bond futures’ expectations for rate cuts.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.6%, primarily driven by losses in mining and technology stocks, while the materials sector was among the worst performers due to lower iron ore prices and predictions of a decline in steel commodity prices by brokers.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 2 points.

The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 5.75 points.

The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 48 points.

The SPI futures are down 50 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Energy, up 0.43 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 1.80 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was GQG Partners (ASX:GQG), closing 2.88 per cent higher at $1.965. It was followed by shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) and Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ).

The worst-performing large cap was Cochlear (ASX:COH), closing 6.86 per cent lower at $287.29. It was followed by shares in WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) and Fortescue (ASX:FMG).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.24 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 3.13 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 0.20 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,042.10 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.6 per cent lower at US$127.20 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.4 per cent fall.

Light crude is trading $0.14 higher at US$72.92 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 64.83 US cents.