Energy surge can’t chase away ASX blues, down 0.5% at noon

The fall in materials and information tech led the retreat on the Australian sharemarket as gains in energy and financial stocks weren’t enough to offset the decline.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.5 per cent or 34 points lower at 6,644. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 39 points.

The oil price extended its gains as investors weighed lingering concerns about an economic slowdown against signs of a tight market. Adding to the concerns is the discovery of the new subvariant Omicron case in Shanghai, suggesting that China could impose restrictions if Covid-19 outbreaks grow.

Meanwhile, the biggest single pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany starts annual maintenance this week, with flows expected to stop for ten days. However, market participants are concerned that the shut-down could be extended due to the war in Ukraine.

Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS) has added 0.8 per cent to $31.06, while Santos (ASX:STO) and Ampol (ASX:ALD) have both added 0.4 per cent.

Iron ore prices eased amid limited buying interest from both end-users and trading houses, with BHP (ASX:BHP) down 2 per cent to $38.45 and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) both down 1.3 per cent each.

In other commodities news, despite coal and copper prices showing little change as a weaker US dollar offset continued worries around the China demand outlook, two coal miners are up around 3.3 per cent, that is, New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC), which is the best performer of the ASX 200 and Terracom (ASX:TER). Meanwhile, Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) has fallen 3.4 per cent to $17.05 and Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) is trading 2.5 per cent lower at $4.22.

EML Payments (ASX:EML) has tumbled 19.9 per cent to $1.02 as the worst performer on the ASX 200 after the payment solutions firm appointed Emma Shand as the managing director and chief executive officer, following the departure of Tom Cregan.

Link Administration (ASX:LNK) has added 0.8 per cent to $4.05 as the company continues to hold its ground around rejecting Canadian suitor Dye & Durham’s revised $4.57 per share takeover offer. The company has also said that full-year results to the end of June came in slightly above guidance. Link’s revenue was $1,175 million, its operating EBITDA was $250 million and its operating EBIT was $152 million.

The major banks were all higher. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) is up 0.9 per cent to $93.45, Westpac (ASX:WBC) has added 0.6 per cent to $20.07, and National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) are both flat. Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) is bucking the trend, trading 0.2 per cent lower at $170.34.

Company news

Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) has announced that it has dosed the final patient and completed recruitment into the Phase III pivotal study ZIRCON (Zirconium in Renal Cancer Oncology, NCT03849118) of its investigational renal (kidney) cancer imaging agent TLX250-CDx ( 89Zr-DFO-girentuximab). This global study has dosed 300 patients to date, exceeding the target enrolment of 252 patients, announced on 8 March this year. Shares are trading 0.7 per cent lower to $5.43.

Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) has executed a new Electricity Purchase Agreement with independent power provider Pacific Energy and a new LNG Supply Agreement with Clean Energy Fuels Australia. Shares are down 3 per cent to $1.14.

Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) has unveiled a 25 per cent increase in lithium grade over previously reported assays at the Paradox Lithium Project, in Utah, USA. This provides a strong indicator of the upside potential in the planned upcoming JORC Resource upgrade. Shares are trading 6.4 per cent higher at 11.7 cents.

RPM Automotive Group (ASX:RPM) has beefed up its portfolio by completing a $2.4 million acquisition of AFT Automotive Group. Shares are flat at 28 cents.

First four RC drill holes of the second RC program at Galileo Mining’s (ASX:GAL) Callisto palladium discovery have returned significant palladium platinum-gold-copper-nickel assays at their Norseman project in Western Australia. Shares are up 14.1 per cent to $1.45.
 
Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1739.13 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.7 per cent lower at US$114.05 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 3.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.22 US cents.