Aussie shares are in retreat following the record highs reached on Tuesday’s session. The ASX 200 is towards intraday lows at lunch with the benchmark index down 33 points or 0.45% to 7,398. This follows losses on Wall Street as investors look for key earnings among mega cap tech companies and the outcome of the US Federal Reserve meeting.
The local technology sector is leading losses in the opening few hours with a decline of 1.4% with financials, consumer discretionary, energy and materials also in the red. Property and utilities are leading advances.
In company news, BHP Group (BHP) announced it is offering to buyout Canadian nickel, copper and platinum miner Noront Resources (listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange) for C$0.55 per share or a total C$325 million as the miner moves towards commodities more focussed in battery power. BHP is down 1.5%.
Rio Tinto (RIO) has also announced it has committed $2.4 billion to the Jadar Lithium project in Serbia which will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate, used in large scale batteries for electric vehicles and storing renewable energy. Rio is also set to release profit results after market close today. RIO is 0.9% lower.
Spark Infrastructure (SKI) is 5.5% higher after receiving a revised takeover offer by a consortium led by private equity firm KKR. The new offer is for $2.95 per share or ~$5.2 billion with SKI now allowing the prospective buyers to engage in due diligence.
Buy-now pay-later provider Openpay (OPY) has provided a quarterly update with Q4 total transaction volumes rising 46% to $92 million while active merchants jumped 77% and active customers jumped 69%. OPY is also looking to launch in the US in early October. OPY shares are down 0.4%.
In economic news, annual headline inflation has beaten market expectations with consumer prices rising 3.8% (fastest since Sept 2008) to June. This comes from a very low base 12 months ago while fuel and transport costs have pushed up overall prices. Quarterly inflation grew 0.8% on the March quarter. Although with lockdowns being extended in Sydney, upcoming September Quarter numbers will likely paint a different picture. The AUD buys 73.63 US cents.
Published by CommSec