Home Commodities Australian shares end flat as tech, banks offset commodity losses

Australian shares end flat as tech, banks offset commodity losses


Australian shares closed flat after a choppy day of trade on Thursday, as gains in financials and technology sectors offset losses among mining majors.

The S&P/ASX 200 closed at 6,974.0, after ending 0.3% lower in the previous session.

Meanwhile, global sentiment recovered after robust services industry data from the United States indicated that an economic recession may not be in sight, while supply bottlenecks and price pressures eased.

However, more U.S. Federal Reserve officials called for tighter interest rates, leading to market participants refraining from making large bets.

“There has been nothing moving exceptionally for the day,” Brad Smoling, Chief Executive Officer of Smoling Stockbroking, said.

“I think people are trying to assess the recent Australian central bank move to hike rates and if more rate hikes from the Fed will be beneficial.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia this week raised interest rates for a fourth month running, but tempered guidance on further hikes as it forecast faster inflation but also a slowdown in the economy.

Among individual sectors and stocks, the tech index led the benchmark higher on Thursday, hitting their highest since early-May. Accounting software provider Xero and ASX-listed shares of Block added 0.9% 8.8%.

Financials followed suit, with the “Big Four” banks gaining between 0.3% and 1.3%.

Separately, Altas Arteria surged 5.7% after fund manager IFM raised its stake in the toll road developer, just a week after walking away from a potential takeover deal.

However, miners weighed on the benchmark index, dropping about 0.9% on account of weak iron prices. Sector majors Rio Tinto and BHP lost 1.5% and 1.3%.

Energy stocks were also hurt despite Brent prices gaining in Asian trade, with Woodside Energy and Santos shedding 2.9% and 1.1%.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 closed 0.3% higher at 11,735.5. (Reporting by Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)


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