Despite lifting by as much as 0.5 per cent in early trade, the ASX 200 finished 0.23 per cent or 15.3 pts lower to 6508.5. This is in part due to futures pointing to a softer start to trade in the United States tonight. The Energy and Utility sectors did most of the heavy lifting today, after posting gains of 1.5 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively. This was offset by a 1.5 per cent fall in the Tech sector. Five of 11 sectors finished in positive territory.

The best performer today was Coronado Global Resources (CRN), which climbed 7.5 per cent today. The coal miner rebounded from a 7.0 per fall yesterday, after the Queensland Government announced increased coal royalties. CRN’s Queensland operations account for between 60-70 per cent of its coal sales. Gold miner St Barbara (SBM) was the worst performer today after its shares shed 18.1 per cent today. This is on the back of SBM announcing plans to carry out a strategic review of its Simberi mine in Papua New Guinea.

In economic news today, regional skilled job vacancies hit a record high of 85.927 in May. This was a 3.0 per cent increase from April, and a 24.1 per cent increase on a year ago. Regional skilled job vacancies are at record highs in 12 regions.

The CommSec index of luxury new vehicle sales fell to a 19- month low of 82,747 vehicles in the year to May. Annual sales are down 11.1 per cent, the biggest fall in almost three years.

In company news, Crown (CWN) received approval from the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to commence gaming operations at Crown Sydney. This comes after the Federal Court of Australia approved its $9 billion takeover offer by US private equity group, Blackstone last week. Shares of CWN have been suspended on the ASX since 15 June.

Shares of Downer EDI (DOW) finished 2.8 per cent higher after it was awarded two road maintenance contracts by Auckland Transport, valued at ~$800 million. DOW will deliver ‘maintenance and renewal activities and emergency repairs’ for Auckland Transport from 1 July.

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.

4.4bn shares were traded, worth $7.9bn. 578 stocks rose, 915 fell & 362 finished unchanged.

In the US, weekly MBA mortgage applications and Redbook chain store sales data are both due. US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will deliver the semi-annual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author) CommSec