SYDNEY, AAP – There was little to smile about for those trading the ASX200 on April Fools’ Day as the market seemed unwilling to stay above 7500 points.
The market eased marginally to 7489.9 points on Friday, a day after closing at 7499.5 points.
Most shares categories were lower after US markets fell by more than one per cent.
The ASX commodity shares of energy and materials were higher. Materials was the top category and gained one per cent.
Australia’s inflation rate is expected to tick higher in the June quarter but the increase will be capped by a cut in the fuel excise.
The annual rate is expected to rise to 4.25 per cent for the March and June quarters, Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy told a post-budget Senate estimates hearing.
Wall Street was down after an inflation gauge closely monitored by the Federal Reserve jumped 6.4 per cent in February compared with a year ago.
The US Commerce Department figures showed the largest year-over-year rise since January 1982.
President Joe Biden made the largest release from the country’s oil reserve in a bid to lower petrol prices that have soared during the war in Ukraine.
Oil prices dropped as a result. Brent crude oil traded for $US104.8 per barrel at 1200 AEDT.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 9.7 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 7489.9.
The index was a little more than 100 points from its record of August.
The All Ordinaries index was lower by 10.4 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 7779.2.
The mining giants were all higher. BHP improved one per cent to $52.28 and was a little more than $2 from its record price.
Fortescue was higher by one per cent to $20.94, and Rio Tinto was up about half a per cent to $119.80.
The big banks were all down. Bank of Queensland shed two per cent to $8.43.
In company news, property advertising group Domain is buying a real estate marketing technology provider and raising $180 million.
Domain will buy Realbase for the same value and may pay $50 million more if targets are achieved.
The share sale will be offered to professional and retail investors. Shares will be $3.80 each.
Domain shares were paused from trading but last sold for $4.01.
Embattled casino operator Star Entertainment has named former rugby and football boss John O’Neill as interim chairman.
Mr O’Neill will lead the business until a new chief executive is found.
Matt Bekier resigned as chief executive this week after an inquiry found Star workers failed in their responsibilities to prevent criminals using casinos.
Star was little changed at $3.25.
Ampol and petrol station operator EG have dropped legal claims against each other.
The two companies had disputed terms relating to EG’s purchase of a Woolworths fuel business in 2019.
Ampol will be the exclusive supplier to stores within the EG Australian network.
Ampol was down less than half a per cent to $30.58.
Real estate and agricultural products provider Elders will sell its stake in livestock finance provider StockCo.
Elders will sell its 30 per cent stake for about $15 million. The company said the profit and loss implications were immaterial on an ongoing basis.
Elders was down less than half a per cent to $13.25.
The Australian dollar was buying 74.82 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower from 74.85 US cents at Thursday’s close.