The ASX 200 edged higher by 19.9 pts or 0.31 per cent to 6528.4, fading from this morning’s best levels, when the index was up by as much as 0.66 per cent. Resource stocks fell most after the Materials and Energy sectors shed 1.5 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively. This comes on the back of a slump in commodity prices overnight. Interest-rate sensitive Real Estate, Tech and Financial sectors all posted gains of at least 0.7 per cent Nine of 11 sectors finished in positive territory.

In economic news today, higher home prices have pushed household wealth to a record high of $14.9 trillion, up 16.5 per cent over the year. Also at a record high, are foreign holdings of Aussie shares, standing at a record $920.9 billion and representing 34 per cent of the total value of shares held.

The Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released more detailed information on the labour force, outlining that 31 per cent of all Aussie businesses experienced difficulty finding suitable staff in June 2022, up from 27 per cent a year ago. In particular, staff shortages are most acute in Accommodation and Food Services (51 per cent) and Education and Training (47 per cent).

In company news, Pilbara Minerals (PLS) shed 0.5 per cent after it accepted a pre-auction offer price of US$6,350/dmt for a shipment of spodumene concentrate. PLS says that the sale equates to ~US$7,017/dmt after ‘adjusting for lithia content on a pro rata basis and freight costs’. PLS shares are still down 30.5 per cent so far this month.

Gold miner Ramelius Resources (RMS) finished lower for a fourth straight day, sliding by another 9.2 per cent today, after it downgraded its production guidance. RMS announced that its gold production will fall marginally short of its guidance range of 260-265koz, due to persistent rain on some of its haulage routes, and ongoing staff shortages.

With the end of the financial year around the corner, we’ve compiled a comprehensive analysis of the 2021/2022 financial year and our forecasts for the fiscal year ahead, in our End of Financial Year Wrap report. You can access the report here.

5.1bn shares were traded, worth $8bn. 551 stocks rose, 941 fell & 370 finished unchanged.

In the US, the Fed chair delivers testimony to Congress. The current account, ‘flash’ PMI and weekly unemployment claims are released. Tomorrow night in Switzerland (9:30pm AEST), Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe will participate in a panel discussion.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author) CommSec