ASX down 0.06%: Westpac Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index increased by 6.2%

By Peter Milios | More Articles by Peter Milios

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index increased by 6.2% to reach 86 in February, marking its highest level since June 2022, signaling a shift towards optimism among Australian consumers amidst moderating inflation, evolving interest rate expectations, and anticipated income tax reductions later in the year, as indicated by Matthew Hassan, a senior economist at Westpac. Moreover, the index suggests a potential alleviation of cost-of-living pressures and hints at the likelihood of a robust rebound in sentiment if the anticipated shift towards rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia is clearly communicated.

At 11:30am, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.06 per cent lower at 7,610.00.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 10 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Financials, up 0.57 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Health Care, down 2.34 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is IDP Education (ASX:IEL), trading 2.95 per cent higher at $20.21. It is followed by shares in JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) and Newmont Corporation (ASX:NEM).

The worst-performing large cap is SEEK (ASX:SEK), trading 9.95 per cent lower at $24.17. It is followed by shares in James Hardie Industries plc (ASX:JHX) and CSL (ASX:CSL).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2033.10 an ounce.

One Australian dollar is buying 65.26 US cents.

About Peter Milios

Peter Milios is a recent graduate from the University of Technology - majoring in Finance and Accounting. Peter is currently working under equity research analyst Di Brookman for Corporate Connect Research.

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