• Following a weak lead from Wall St overnight, the ASX 200 shed 0.8 per cent or 58.1 pts, to finish at 7175.9. The Energy sector had its best day since March 2022 and the Utilities sector rebounded after it suffered its worst decline in over two years on Wednesday. Tech, Materials and Real Estate extended their losses to a third straight day. Of the 11 sectors, only two finished in positive territory.
• In economic news today, Australia clocked its 52nd consecutive monthly trade surplus after it rose by $757 million, to $10.5 billion in April. The trade surplus was boosted by higher travel and mineral fuels sales. Exports climbed by 23.7 annually, and imports are up 26.9 per cent on a year ago. The opening of foreign borders has also pushed tourism credits $459 million or 27 per cent higher, with tourism debits up $79 million or 19.9 per cent.
• In company news, Wesfarmers (WES) held its strategy briefing day. WES said that its inventory for the second half of the financial year will remain elevated. The retail conglomerate also said that its health division’s earnings will be impacted by integration costs and investments in capabilities. Its industrial and safety division has been impacted by Covid-19 disruptions and inflation. Shares of WES finished 0.6 per cent lower.
• Following its agreement with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to export 1.25 million tins of baby formula, Bubs Australia (BUB) today announced that its first deliveries will be made on 9 & 11 June 2022. BUB shares finished 6.0 per cent higher and are on track to deliver their best weekly return since October 2021.
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• ASX Limited (ASX) announced that Helen Lofthouse has been “appointed Managing Director and CEO of ASX”, effective 1 August 2022. Ms Lofthouse will replace Dominic Stevens, who will continue as CEO until 31 July 2022.
• Yesterday after market close, Pilbara Minerals (PLS) appointed Dale Henderson as Managing Director and CEO. Shares of PLS today finished 0.9 per cent lower.
• Shares of Woodside Energy (WDS), formerly Woodside Petroleum, have had their best day since early March following its merger with BHP Group (BHP). WDS shares finished 5.2 per cent higher.
• Shares of Technology One (TNE) traded ex-dividend today and finished 0.4 per cent higher.
• 4.4bn shares were traded, worth $9.4bn. 490 stocks finished higher, 917 ended lower, while 409 closed unchanged.
• In the US, Challenger job cuts is released with ADP employment, weekly jobless claims and factory orders.
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