Mild gains as ASX starts new financial year, up 0.5% at noon

The Australian sharemarket has started the new financial year with a positive start after closing off its worst month since March 2020.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.5 per cent or 30 points higher at 6,598. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 38 points.

The price of crude ended sharply lower on mounting concerns on a tight oil market and future targets, following OPEC+ sticking to its 648,000 barrels per day increase in August. Clouding investor sentiment was also the latest figures on US consumer spending.

Real or inflation-adjusted personal spending declined by 0.4 per cent, the first drop so far this year, a sign that persistently high consumer prices have started to weigh on households affordability. However, what remains persistent in investor’s minds are demand worries from China.

This could explain why energy and material stocks are the only worst performers on the ASX 200, down 1.6 and 1 per cent respectively while real estate is the best performing sector, up 2.3 per cent, followed by industrials and utilities.

The worst-performing stock in the ASX 200 is New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC), trading 3.2 per cent lower at $3.35, while the best performing stock in the ASX 200 is PointsBet (ASX:PBH), trading 11.2 per cent higher at $2.98.

Leading the gains across the sectors are Centuria Capital (ASX:CNI) up 5 to $1.90, Qube (ASX:QUB) adding 4 per cent to $2.84, APA (ASX:APA) up 3 per cent to $11.61, EML Payments (ASX:EML) up 4 per cent to $1.28, United Malt Group (ASX:UML) up 3.1 per cent to $3.37, APA Group (ASX:APA) adding 3.3 per cent to $11.64, Imugene (ASX:IMU) surging 9.4 per cent to 19.7 cents and News Corp (ASX:NWS) trading 3.1 per cent higher to $23.17.

Major banks are higher, led by National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) adding 1.7 per cent to $27.86, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) is trading 0.3 per cent higher at $90.67.

BHP Group (ASX:BHP) is leading heavyweight iron ore miners lower, down 2.2 per cent to $40.33, while Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) are both trading 1.5 per cent lower each.

Company news

Openpay (ASX:OPY) has decided to pause its existing US operations indefinitely and cease loan originations on the Opy USA platform, meaning its US workforce will be materially reduced. Shares are trading 20.8 per cent higher at 14 cents.

Endeavour Group (ASX:EDV) has appointed Agnieszka Pfeiffer-Smith (Agi) to take over Alex Freudmann as managing director of Dan Murphy’s. Shares are trading 0.2 per cent higher at $7.58.

Austal’s (ASX:ASB) US business has been awarded a contract valued up to US$3.3 billion for the design and construction of up to 11 offshore patrol cutters for the United States Coast Guard. Shares are trading 24.4 per cent higher at $2.24.

Cancer diagnostics company INOVIQ (ASX:IIQ) has unveiled news that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has approved a patent application. Shares are trading 14.1 per cent higher at 44 cents.

Australasian Metals (ASX:A8G) has identified high-grade tantalum mineralisation and lithium signatures at the Barrow Creek lithium project in the Northern Territory. Shares are trading 25 per cent higher at 25 cents.

Fleetwood (ASX:FWD) has signed a five-year agreement with Rio Tinto to provide accommodation services at Searipple Village in Karratha. Shares are trading 8.1 per cent higher at $1.40.

AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) says its trading halt is likely to remain until July 15 or until it can provide an update on the status of its mining and exploration rights for the Manono lithium project in the Congo. Shares are flat at 78 cents,

East 33 (ASX:E33) has increased its revenue for June by 37 per cent compared to the prior year period, as market demand continues to outstrip supply. Shares are trading 4.7 per cent higher at 4.5 cents.

Radiopharm Theranostics (ASX:RAD) has extended its agreement with global oncology provider GenesisCare, who will support a second clinical trial in Australia for prostate cancer. Shares are trading flat at 15 cents.

Imugene (ASX:IMU) has appointed Dr Sharon Yavrom as executive director, Clinical Scientist, effective today. Shares are trading 11.1 per cent higher to 20 cents

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,805.55 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.5 per cent lower at US$120.10 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 4.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.84 US cents.