Ex-div St Barbara drops 6.4%, Macquarie soars 5.7%: ASX down 0.3% at noon

The Australian sharemarket is in negative territory this morning, trading 0.3 per cent or 19.9 points lower at 7510.4, while the SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 24 points. Financials are higher, while all other sectors are in the red. Tech, consumer and mining stocks are weighing on the index. 

Miners are trading under pressure with BHP (ASX:BHP) trading 1 per cent lower. James Hardie (ASX:JHX) is down 1.7 per cent and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) is down 2.3 per cent. 

Buy now, pay later giant Afterpay (ASX:APT) is down 1.9 per cent, while the cloud and internet provider Megaport (ASX:MP1) is down 2.8 per cent. Flight Centre (AASX:FLT) fell 3.6 per cent and Pointsbet ( ASX:BHP) fell 4.2 per cent. 

Several stocks are going ex-dividend today, gold producer St Barbara (ASX:SBM) is down 6.4 per cent, Blackmores (ASX:BKL) is down 2.5 per cent, Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) is down 5.4 per cent and Medibank Private (ASX:MPL) is down 0.9 per cent. 

On a positive note, major banks are up except ANZ (ASX:ANZ) down 0.2 per cent, Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) is however, up 0.7 per cent. The investing firm Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) is up 5.7 per cent, following its first half of 2022 update. 

NSW recorded another 1,480 covid-19 cases, while Victoria 221 new cases. Queensland has had another day with no new cases. 

Local economic news 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released their labour account report for Jun this year. The report provides quarterly and annual time series for four quadrants: jobs, people, hours and payments. 

Total jobs increased 1.8 per cent to 262,200 while filled jobs increased 1.2 per cent to 14.4 million.

Multiple job-holders increased 5.7 per cent, secondary jobs increased 1.4 per cent, hours worked increased 1.8 per cent and employed people increased 0.7 per cent to 13.3 million

Company news 

Through its subsidiaries, Qube (ASX:QUB) entered into a binding agreement to acquire Newcastle Agri Terminal (NAT) for $90 million.

Centuria Capital (ASX:CNI) secured a $63 million office building in Nile Street Port Adelaide, for its unlisted real estate fund, Centuria government income property fund (CGIPF).

IPH (ASX:IPH) announced its two firms, Shelston IP and Spruson & Ferguson Australia, will combine and operate under the Spruson & Ferguson brand.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Financials, up 0.7 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Consumer Staples, down 1.2 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG), trading 5.9 per cent higher at $181.13. It is followed by shares in Soul Pattinson (WH) (ASX:SOL) and Technology One (ASX:TNE).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is St Barbara (ASX:SBM), trading 6.4 per cent lower at $1.46. It is followed by shares in Redbubble (ASX:RBL) and Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1798.60 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.2 per cent higher at US$137.97 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.87 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.00 US cents.

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