SYDNEY, AAP – Energy shares were surging due to fears a storm could ravage oil supply while a few other ASX categories have tumbled.
There were gains of more than six per cent for shares in Beach Energy and Woodside on Tuesday as US oil refiners began preparing for Tropical Storm Nicholas.
The storm threatens to disrupt the Texas coast with winds of up to 113 km/h.
Meanwhile, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has trimmed its world oil demand forecast for the last quarter of 2021 due to the Delta coronavirus variant.
Yet the ASX was flat due to losses for industrials and technology stocks and little movement in the major categories of financials and materials.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 4.1 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 7421.1 at 1200 AEST.
The All Ordinaries was down by 4.6 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 7721.5.
The Reserve Bank governor is due to soon discuss the Delta coronavirus variant and its impact on the economy in a prepared speech.
In the US, investors favoured value stocks over growth ones as they focused on potential corporate tax hikes.
US President Joe Biden’s budget package is expected to soon be approved and carries a proposed corporate tax rate hike.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed higher, but the technology-based Nasdaq closed lower.
Consumer inflation figures are due by the next US session and will give more insight into whether high inflation is temporary.
On the ASX, the falls in industrials shares were partly due to container transport group Brambles.
Its shares slid more than 10 per cent to $10.91 after profit was forecast to improve by one to two per cent this financial year.
The company is spending on digital and supply chain programs which are designed to better improve profit growth in subsequent years.
Westpac has been prevented from selling a stake in its Asia Pacific business by regulators.
Papua New Guinea competition regulators have stopped the sale of an almost 90 per cent stake in Westpac Bank PNG to ASX-listed Kina Securities.
The transfer would have given the bank up to $420 million.
Shares were up 0.29 per cent to $25.71.
ANZ was the best performer of the big banks and rose by 0.36 per cent to $27.72.
Telix Pharmaceuticals shares were surging by 8.21 per cent to $7.11 after US health authorities allowed a stage two study of its kidney cancer therapy.
The study will determine how Telix’s TLX250 benefits patients with the most common and aggressive type of kidney cancer.
The big miners were mixed. Fortescue and South32 were down by about one-and-a-half per cent.
BHP and Rio shares were higher by less than one per cent.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.64 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher than 73.45 US cents at Monday’s close.