ASX flat on Monday trading before federal budget, US inflation data

ASX flat on Monday trading before federal budget, US inflation data
  • PublishedMay 14, 2024

The Australian sharemarket traded flat on Monday as investors waited cautiously for Wednesday’s all-important US inflation figures, which will offer the markets guidance on possible interest rate movements.

The benchmark ASX 200 ticked up 0.01 per cent, or a single point, to close at 7,750, while the All Ordinaries index dipped 0.04 per cent, or 3.3 points, to finish at 8,019.4.

Technology stocks ended down 0.57 per cent to 3,049.9 points.

The Aussie dollar traded flat against the greenback to buy US65.9c at the closing bell.

Six of 11 industry sectors ended in the red, led by energy with a 0.73 per cent fall.

Energy giant Santos fell 1.15 per cent to $7.77 a share, while Woodside fell 1.12 per cent to $28.31.

Discretionary stocks booked the largest gain, lifting 0.52 per cent.

The flat day followed a 1.6 per cent advance last week, which was driven by Wall St gains and a dovish tilt in reserve bank rhetoric.

Capital.com senior financial market analyst Kyle Rodda said investors were in a “comfortable position” and “hold and see” was the theme of the day.

“Things are looking kind of calm but it all remains dependent on inflation data behaving the way investors want it to behave when we get the next print on Wednesday,” he said.

“Other than that, there is not really much of a catalyst to start the week that you can point to.

“Earnings are pretty light, the economic calendar is pretty light, so today we’ve really just seen a little bit of a pullback.

“Last week was pretty solid for the local market and a lot of it is just a little bit of caution around any kind of inflation metric, especially ones that come in a little stronger than expected.”

The federal budget is released out on Tuesday, followed by US CPI data on Wednesday and then Australian employment data on Thursday.

The big banks were mixed, with Commonwealth Bank lifting 1.34 per cent to $119.12 a share and NAB rising 0.68 per cent to $34.04.

Westpac traded flat with a slight 0.07 per cent rise to $26.68 while ANZ recovered from an early morning slump to close down just 0.18 per cent to $28.21 at the closing bell.

ARN CEO Ciaran Davis and Southern Cross Media Group managing director and CEO John Kelly. ARN Media’s proposed takeover of SCA was derailed over the weekend. Picture: Supplied

ARN CEO Ciaran Davis and Southern Cross Media Group managing director and CEO John Kelly. ARN Media’s proposed takeover of SCA was derailed over the weekend. Picture: Supplied

The big miners also recorded a mixed day, with BHP rising 0.79 per cent to $43.25, while Rio Tinto slipped 0.75 per cent to $129.04.

Fortescue fell 0.61 per cent to $26.05.

In corporate news, commercial radio company ARN Media pared losses from the morning to close up 1.79 per cent to 86c a share.

Shares in the company slumped at the opening bell on the news its planned acquisition of rival Southern Cross Austereo had fallen apart over the weekend.

Private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners pulled out of the takeover bid, reportedly on concerns around SCA’s television assets.

Shares in SCA collapsed nearly 9 per cent across the day to finish at 86c.

The top gainer on the benchmark ASX 200 was Bellevue Gold, which jumped 5.4 per cent to $1.85, while the biggest laggard was construction company Fletcher Building, which fell 10.87 per cent to $2.87 after cutting its earnings guidance for FY24.

SOURCE: NEWS.COM

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