The Australian sharemarket remained in the red throughout the day. At the closing bell, the ASX/200 was 0.2 per cent or 18 points lower at 7,512. Amongst the sectors, consumer, materials, tech and real estate weighed on the index, while financials did the best.
Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 0.9 per cent lower, with Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closing 0.5 per cent lower. James Hardie (ASX:JHX) and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) continued to fall, closing 2.7 and 2.8 per cent lower.
Amid techs fall, Afterpay (ASX:APT) closed 2 per cent lower, Megaport (ASX:MP1) closed 4.3 per cent lower and Altium (ASX:ALU) closed 3.3 per cent lower. Other stocks also added to the losses. Flight Centre (ASX:FPH) closed 2.6 per cent lower, Pointsbet (ASX:PBH) closed 4.8 per cent lower and real estate company Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) closed 2.1 per cent lower.
Several stocks went ex-dividend today. Gold producer St Barbara (ASX:SBM) closed 4.9 per cent lower, Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) closed 5.9 per cent lower and Blackmores (ASX:BKL) eased its losses, closing 0.4 per cent higher.
Financials maintained momentum. Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) finished as the best bank, closing 0.8 per cent higher. The investing firm Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) dominated, closing 4.7 per cent higher, following its first half 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.
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.
Bigtincan (ASX:BTH) has purchased US data-driven platform Brainshark for around $116 million.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 33 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 2 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 26 points when the market next opens.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Financials, up 0.6 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts, down 1.3 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Soul Pattinson (WH) (ASX:SOL), closing 5.6 per cent higher at $38.23. It was followed by shares in Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) and Technology One (ASX:TNE).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was St Barbara (ASX:SBM), closing 6.1 per cent lower at $1.47. It was followed by shares in Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST).
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.8 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.2 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.01 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1797.00 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $0.45 higher at US$68.80 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.80 US cents.
Iron ore is 4.2 per cent higher at US$137.97 a ton.
Iron ore futures are flat.
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