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The Australian sharemarket has erased yesterday’s gains after the S&P/ASX 200 slipped by 1.8 per cent or 124 pts, to 6941. The tech sector fell the most today, and all 11 sectors finished in the red for the 10th time this year. A key update on US inflation last night set the tone, highlighting a larger than expected increase in prices and keeping the Federal Reserve on track to lift rates in coming months. This weighed on US equities overnight. A key update on business inflation is due this evening.

The Tech sector extended its losing streak to a fifth straight day after falling by 8.7 per cent, its largest daily decline in over two years. Shares of Xero (XRO) slipped 11.6 per cent after the company issued its annual results, Block (SQ2) shares finished the session at $99.90 and touched an all-time low today, and Altium (ALU) shares shed 16.7 per cent today.

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) announced a cash profit of $2.4 billion and a statutory net profit after tax of $2.3 billion. CBA says that its cash profit was steady as growth in home and business lending was offset by the impact of ongoing margin pressure. This comes after the bank noted a 1 per cent decrease in its operating income and a 2 per cent decrease in its net interest income. Shares climbed 0.6 per cent.

Shares of CSL (CSL) shed 1.8 per cent today after saying it expects the regulatory approval process for the acquisition of Vifor, a Swiss-based pharmaceutical company, to take longer than expected.

Xero (XRO), a cloud-based accounting software company, has recorded a 29 per cent annual increase in its revenues, a 1.3 percentage point increase in its gross margin, and a loss of NZ$9.1 million following a profitable prior year. XRO says its loss and a 96 per cent reduction in its free cash flow are “consistent with XRO’s preference to reinvest capital generated”. Shares of XRO fell 11.6 per cent today.

Viva Energy (VEA) has observed a strengthening of its refining margin (gap between the price of refined products and the cost of crude oil), causing its Geelong Refining Margin to increase by 130
per cent over the month of April. VEA shares climbed 0.4 per cent today.

4.5bn shares were traded, worth $9.2bn. 322 stocks finished higher, 1,182 ended lower, while 353 closed unchanged.

In the US tonight, producer prices figures are released.

Published by Divik Nigam – (Author) CommSec