The Aussie market snapped a four-day winning streak, with the ASX 200 sliding by 63.4 pts or 0.94 per cent to 6700.2, after US markets posted their largest daily losses in a week. Declines were led by the real estate sector, which faced pressure after a number of real estate trusts traded ex-distribution. A 2.0 per cent lift in the oil price overnight supported a modest 0.1 per cent improvement in the Energy sector. The ASX 200 is still on track to post its largest monthly loss since March 2020. Eight out of 11 sectors finished in positive territory.

In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that retail trade rose by 0.9 per cent in May and climbed by 10.4 per cent on a year ago, its fifth consecutive monthly increase and its largest annual growth rate in 13 months. Retail spending has climbed by 23.2 per cent since the pandemic
(February 2020). The Consumer Discretionary sector is however on track to decline for the third straight month, and posted its largest monthly fall since January. Retailers like JB Hi-Fi (JBH) and Super Retail Group (SUL) shed 0.8 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively.

In company news, Liontown Resources (LTR) climbed 5.2 per cent after it executed an Offtake Agreement with Ford, to supply ‘up to 150,000dmt per annum of spodumene concentrate’ for an initial term of five years. This is LTR’s third offtake agreement, previously striking deals with Tesla and South Korean battery giant LG Energy. LTR was the best performer today and is also on track to be the best performer this month.

Pilbara Minerals (PLS) fell by 3.8 per cent despite announcing that it expects fourth quarter production to increase by approximately 54 per cent. PLS also expects its FY22 production to be at the upper end of its guidance, and its FY22 cash balance to be around $850m – $855m.

Piedmont Lithium (PLL) has announced that Sayona Quebec, of which it owns a 25 per cent stake, has ‘authorised the restart of spodumene concentrate production’ at the North American Lithium (NAL) project. Operations are expected to start in the first half of 2023. PLL shares shed 7.1 per cent.

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.

4.3bn shares were traded, worth $7.4bn. 466 stocks rose, 1,022 fell & 385 finished unchanged.

In the US, economic (GDP) growth data is scheduled. US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell participates in an economic policy panel discussion. According to Bloomberg consensus, the US economy is expected to have contracted by 1.5 per cent in the March quarter; its first contraction in seven quarters.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author) CommSec