GDP rises 0.7% in Q2, Energy & Tech gain: ASX down 0.5% at noon

The Australian sharemarket fell at the open, pulling back from yesterday’s gains. At noon, the ASX is 0.5 per cent or 36 points lower at 7498.9. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 40 points.

Most sectors are in the red with Health, Consumer and Mining stocks weighing on the index. On a positive note, Energy stocks and Tech stocks are pushing ahead. 

Several companies are going ex-dividend today, including Wesfarmers (ASX:WES), which is trading 1.4 per cent lower. Meanwhile, retail giants Woolworths (ASX:WOW) and Coles (ASX:COL) are trading 2.1 per cent lower and 0.5 per cent lower. 

Health stocks softened after a strong performance yesterday. CSL (ASX:CSL) is down 1.4 per cent, Fisher and Paykel (ASX:FPH) is down 1.6 per cent and Resmed (ASX:RMD) is down 1.3 per cent. 

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) is down 1.3 per cent, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is down 2.2 per cent and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is down 3 per cent, after a staggering rise yesterday. 

NSW recorded 1164 new Covid-19 cases while Victoria recorded 73 new cases.

Local economic news

Australian gross domestic product rose 0.7 per cent against the consensus of 0.5 per cent in the June quarter 2021. On an annual basis from June last year, GDP grew 9.6 per cent according to  the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Head of national accounts at the ABS, Michael Smedes said “domestic demand drove growth of 0.7 per cent this quarter which saw continued growth across household spending, private investment and public sector expenditure. Lockdowns had minimal impact on domestic demand, with fewer lockdown days and the prolonged stay at home orders in NSW only commencing later in the quarter”.

Company news 

Dexus (ASX:DXS) announced Keir Barnes to take over Alison Harrop’s role as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on 1 Oct this year, after serving 2 years as deputy CFO.

Carsales.Com (ASX:CAR) has successfully acquired a 49 per cent stake in the US digital marketplace business, Trader Interactive. 

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, up 0.8 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Consumer Staples, down 1.7 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT), trading 4.2 per cent higher at $17.11. It is followed by shares in Omni Bridgeway (ASX:OBL) and Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Blackmores (ASX:BKL), trading 6.7 per cent lower at $93.07. It is followed by shares in Reece (ASX:REH) and Mesoblast (ASX:MSB).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1813.34 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.9 per cent lower at US$153.67 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 7.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.19 US cents.
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