by Lauren Evans
The Australian sharemarket faded into the close, weighed down by US equity futures in a risk-off afternoon. The greenback rose against the Australian dollar, which has fallen to its lowest level since June 2020, while the treasuries yield dipped as buying into bonds continued. This followed the performance of the S&P 500, which closed out its worst first-half performance since the 1970s, as concerns over soaring inflation and recession fears continued to linger at the front of investors’ minds.
At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.4 per cent or 28 points lower at 6,540. Over the last four trading days, it closed 0.6 per cent or 39 points lower.
Energy and mining stocks fell 3.4 per cent and 2 per cent as the underlying commodity prices fell, while communication services edged 0.2 per cent lower. The other sectors closed higher led by real estate, utilities and industrials, which added between 1.2 and 1.5 per cent each.
The best-performing stock in the ASX 200 was Zip Co (ASX:ZIP), closing 9.1 per cent higher at $0.48, while the worst-performing stock was Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), closing 5.2 per cent lower at $1.00.
Energy stocks like Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS) closed 4.4 per cent lower at $30.45 and Santos (ASX:STO) closed 2.8 per cent lower at $7.21.
Heavyweight miners fell, led by Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), down 3 per cent at $17.00, while BHP Group (ASX:BHP) fell 2.9 per cent to $40.05 and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 2.3 per cent lower at $100.34.
Among coal miners, New Hope (ASX:NHC) dropped 2.9 per cent to $3.36 and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) fell 2.7 per cent to $4.71.
Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) dropped 3 per cent to $20.27 and Northern Star (ASX:NST) closed 0.4 per cent lower at $6.81.
Major banks were mixed. Westpac Banking (ASX:WBC) fell 0.4 per cent to $19.42 and ANZ Banking (ASX:ANZ) dipped 0.1 per cent lower to $22.00, while Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) rose 0.4 per cent to $90.70 and National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) closed 0.4 per cent higher at $27.51.
Openpay (ASX:OPY) 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 closed 20.8 per cent higher at 14 cents.
Endeavour Group (ASX:EDV) appointed Agnieszka Pfeiffer-Smith to take over Alex Freudmann as managing director of Dan Murphy’s. Shares closed 1.1 per cent higher at $7.65.
Austal’s (ASX:ASB) US business was 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 closed 26.1 per cent higher at $2.27.
Cancer diagnostics company INOVIQ (ASX:IIQ) unveiled news that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has approved a patent application. Shares closed 18 per cent higher at 46 cents.
Australasian Metals (ASX:A8G) identified high-grade tantalum mineralisation and lithium signatures at the Barrow Creek lithium project in the Northern Territory. Shares closed 15 per cent higher at 23 cens.
Fleetwood (ASX:FWD) signed a five-year agreement with Rio Tinto to provide accommodation services at Searipple Village in Karratha. Shares closed 11.2 per cent higher at $1.44.
AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) said its trading halt was 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 were flat at 78 cents.
East 33 (ASX:E33) increased its revenue for June by 37 per cent compared to the prior year period, as market demand continued to outstrip supply. Shares closed 11.6 per cent higher at $0.048.
Radiopharm Theranostics (ASX:RAD) extended its agreement with global oncology provider GenesisCare, who will support a second clinical trial in Australia for prostate cancer. Shares closed 13.3 per cent higher at 17 cents.
Effective today, Imugene (ASX:IMU) appointed Dr Sharon Yavrom as executive director, Clinical Scientist. Shares closed 9.4 per cent higher at 20 cents.
Nuheara (ASX:NUH) announced a partnership and cornerstone investment from Taiwan-based Realtek Semiconductor Corporation, to develop chipset and technology solutions to globally penetrate multiple hearing related markets. Shares closed 16.7 per cent higher at 14 cents.
IGO (ASX:IGO) will purchase a 70 per cent stake in all of Matsa Resources’ Fraser range tenements, while Matsa will retain a 30 per cent stake. Shares closed 0.5 per cent lower at $9.89.
Harris Technology’s (ASX:HT8) full-year revenue will be about $50 million, an increase of 20 per cent on FY21, however it reported a decline in gross margins due to higher freight expenses and lower demand. Shares closed 23.3 per cent lower at $0.023.
Mighty Craft (ASX:MCL) secured a new debt facility with PURE Asset Management that replaces all previous existing debt facilities. Shares closed 2.9 per cent higher at 18 cents.
Swoop (ASX:SWP) is set to acquire Queensland-based network operator Moose Mobile for $24 million. Shares closed 10.7 per cent higher at 62 cents.
Monash IVF (ASX:MVF) is set to acquire ART Associates Queensland in Brisbane for initial cash consideration of $3.9 million. Shares closed 3.9 per cent higher at 98 cents.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 273 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 35 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 116 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 3 points when the market next opens.
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.6 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is closed due to Special Administrative Region Establishment Day.
China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 0.4 per cent.
Over the last four trading days, the Dow Jones lost 2.4 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 3.3 per cent and the Nasdaq lost 5.3 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1798.66 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 6.1 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.58 lower at US$94.98 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.31 US cents.