SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s economy is booming and a spate of indicators suggest investors may have more to worry about than Thursday’s ASX losses.
Home owners enjoying the biggest price gains since 2004 and record job vacancies will put pressure on Reserve Bank officials ahead of next week’s meeting to flag when rates might rise.
IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda noted the 23 per cent rise in job vacancies for May.
“Another ringing endorsement of the state of the Australian economy,” he said.
Mr Rodda was one of a number of analysts who said the situation could lead to higher wages and inflation, and prompt the central bank to act.
Low rates have been a great contributor to recent share market record highs.
In the US, the S&P 500 eked out its fifth straight record closing high as investors anticipate pleasing jobs data at the end of the week.
However, traders were not so keen on the first day of the financial year.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down by 47.4 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 7265.6.
The All Ordinaries on Thursday closed lower by 43.5 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 7541.5.
Consumer and industrial stocks lost more than one per cent.
Australia’s trade surplus grew to $9.68 billion in May, a shade smaller than the record $9.75 billion set in March 2020.
Exports grew by three per cent in the months, and were only partially offset by a three per cent increase in imports.
However the figures were of little consequence to foreign exchange investors, who eased the Aussie dollar to buy 74 US cents for most of the day.
NAB head of FX strategy Ray Attrill said the US dollar had climbed since Federal Reserve board members last month brought forward rate rise estimates to 2023.
China’s efforts to lower soaring prices of commodities such as iron ore also did not help.
Another notable overseas development will occur in the oil industry when OPEC+ meets overnight.
OPEC watchers said the group could leave production unchanged when ministers meet or decide to boost output, possibly by more than 1 million barrels per day or a more modest 0.5 million barrels per day.
ASX energy shares fell 0.42 per cent but were in good company as almost all industry categories slipped.
Boral board members told shareholders to reject Seven Group’s latest offer.
Seven earlier said its Boral stake had reached 29.5 per cent and it could offer $7.30 per remaining share.
Seven outlined the proposal last month.
Boral shares were higher by 0.14 per cent to $7.36.
Seven shares were down 0.05 per cent to $20.34.
In banking, Bank of Queensland completed its $1.32 billion purchase of ME Bank.
Shares in the former were lower by 1.43 per cent to $8.98.
All of the big four banks traded lower.
Gold miners were one of the better parts of the market.
Northern Star climbed almost 3.68 per cent to $10.14.
Evolution gained 2.22 per cent to $4.60.
Materials shares were the only category to gain (0.08 per cent).
Iron ore specialist Fortescue was best of the big three miners and gained 1.07 per cent to $23.59.
Luxury goods retailer Cettire may capitalise on people shopping from home by offering childrens clothes.
The company flagged the move earlier this year and has started selling.
More than 6,000 childrens products are being offered to people in more than 50 countries.
Shares were higher by 4.92 per cent to $2.77.
The Australian dollar was buying 75.01 US cents at 1727 AEST, lower from 75.20 US cents at Wednesday’s close.
ON THE ASX
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down by 47.4 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 7265.6 on Thursday.
* The All Ordinaries on Thursday closed lower by 43.5 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 7541.5.
* At 1727 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was higher by 15 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 7195.
One Australian dollar buys:
* 75.01 US cents, from 75.20 cents on Wednesday
* 83.43 Japanese yen, from 83.07 yen
* 63.27 Euro cents, from 63.18 cents
* 54.23 British pence, from 54.36 pence
* 107.18 NZ cents, from 107.49 cents.