The Australian sharemarket snapped its four-day winning streak although gains in energy, financials and consumer staples helped minimise the fall.
At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.9 per cent or 63 points lower at 6,700.
Real estate was the worst-performing sector, down almost 4 per cent after around 30 companies traded ex-dividend, followed by information technology, down 2.8 per cent and communication services, down 2.2 per cent. The best-performing sector was energy, up 0.3 per cent, followed by consumer staples and financials, both up 0.1 per cent.
Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) was the best performer in the ASX 200, up 5.2 per cent to $1.12 after locking in a binding offtake agreement with Ford, and announcing a final investment decision for its Kathleen Valley lithium project in WA. The worst performer in the ASX 200 was Imugene (ASX:IMU), down almost 14 per cent to $0.18.
Better-than-expected retail sales data helped consumer staples companies advance. Metcash (ASX:MTS) jumped 1.8 per cent to $4.26, Endeavour Group (ASX:EDV) added 1.7 per cent to $7.71, Coles (ASX:COL) rose 1.1 per cent to $18.06 and Treasury Wine (ASX:TWE) closed 1.1 per cent higher at $11.25.
Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) led heavyweight miners lower, down 0.9 per cent to $18.40, with Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) down 0.7 per cent to $106.23 and BHP (ASX:BHP) down 0.5 per cent to $42.76.
Gold miners tumbled, led by Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), down 7 per cent to $2.40 and Northern Star (ASX:NST), down 5.6 per cent to $7.03.
Major banks closed higher. National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) and Westpac (ASX:WBC) both added 1 per cent, ANZ Bank (ASX:ANZ) rose 0.9 per cent, Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) added 0.6 per cent and Macquarie (ASX:MQG) closed 0.5 per cent higher.
Meanwhile, there was a theme around management today after several companies announced executive changes. Pinterest’s boss is set to step down and former Google and Paypal executive Bill Ready has been appointed to take over the helm.
Star Entertainment (ASX:SGR) named Tyro boss Robbie Cookie as its new chief executive. As a result, Tyro Payments (ASX:TYR) is now on the hunt for a new boss. Shares in Star closed 3.3 per cent higher at $2.80 as the second-best-performing stock, while shares in Tyro closed 16.7 per cent lower at 65 cents.
Hazer Group (ASX:HZR) appointed Glenn Corrie as its new CEO, replacing current managing director Geoff Ward. Shares closed 5 per cent higher at 63 cents.
By mutual agreement, Dr Michael Anderson left his position as managing director of Firefinch (ASX:FFX) and Andrew Taplin was appointed acting chief executive officer and Dr Alistair Cowden as executive chairman.
Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) is looking for a new chief financial officer after Pete Findlay was appointed as the company’s chief operating officer. Shares closed 1.3 per cent lower at $3.85.
Peter Warren Automotive (ASX:PWR) appointed Victor Cuthell as its chief financial officer after Bernard Friend announced his retirement after 40 years with the company. Shares closed 2.7 per cent lower at $2.14.
Market operator ASX (ASX:ASX) named Dr Heather Smith to its board after the retirement of Dr Ken Henry. Shares closed 1.2 per cent higher at $83.
Local economic news
Retail sales rose a better-than-expected 0.9 per cent month on month in May versus the expectations of an increase of 0.4 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is the fifth straight monthly rise, following a gain of 0.9 per cent in April.
Metal additive manufacturing provider AML3D (ASX:AL3) inked a $190,000 manufacturing purchase deal with ExxonMobil Asia Pacific to create the world’s largest 3D metal printed pressure component. Shares closed 3.5 per cent higher at 5.5 cents.
Tech company Weebit Nano (ASX:WBT) taped-out its resistive random-access memory module to SkyWater. Shares closed 5.6 per cent higher at $2.27.
Winchester Energy (ASX:WEL) executed an agreement with US-based oil company Westex Resources that allows Winchester to farm-in to the group prospect to fast track increased oil production. Shares closed 10 per cent higher at 1.1 cents.
Engineering company SRG Global (ASX:SRG) secured a $20 million contract in the defence sector with ASX-listed Lendlease as the managing contractor. Shares closed 0.8 per cent lower at 60 cents.
Engineering and construction group Decmil (ASX:DCG) was awarded a $98 million contract to build stage two of the Albany ring road project in WA. Shares closed 18.3 per cent higher at 11 cents.
A regulatory agency approved Invex Therapeutics’ (ASX:IXC) authorisation to commence the IIH EVOLVE phase 3 clinical trial in the UK, for patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Shares closed 4.5 per cent higher at 46.5 cents.
Carsales (ASX:CAR) raised around $1.2 billion to fund an acquisition at $17.75 per share. Shares closed 12.1 per cent lower at $18.25 as the second worst stock.
Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) committed to science-based decarbonisation targets to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions consistent with a 1.5-degree pathway. Shares closed 0.4 per cent lower at $73.24.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 31 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 6 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 31 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 51 points when the market next opens.
Japan’s Nikkei has lost almost 1 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.7 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 0.9 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,821.59 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.5 per cent higher at US$125.00 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 4.1 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.25 lower at US$111.51 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.87 US cents.