The Aussie sharemarket finished the last day of the month on a rather weak note and at session lows, after the S&P/ASX 200 fell by 1 per cent or 75.4pts, to 7211.2. All 11 sectors finished in the red for the 11th time this year. The Financial and Tech sectors weighed on the index after they shed 2.0 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively. Despite a rise in commodities and oil overnight, both the Energy and Materials sectors posted losses.

Over the month, the ASX 200 recorded its worst performance since January, after finishing 3 per cent lower. The Energy sector broke a five month winning streak after shedding 0.7 per cent. The Tech sector shed another 8.7 per cent and is down 29.7 per cent so far for the year.

Polynovo (PNV) was this month’s best performer, after its shares climbed 30 per cent. A trading update announced by Codan (CDA), which outlined the possibility of record profits, sent its shares up 10.8 per cent, making it amongst one of the best performers for the month. Tabcorp (TAH) shares shed 83
per cent over the month after it spun-off its lotteries & keno businesses and created The Lottery Corporation (TLC). TLC shares are up 2.8 per cent since it listed.

The prospect of the European Union (EU) instituting an embargo on Russian oil imports has sent the price of oil benchmarks higher, and put them on track to post their sixth consecutive monthly gain. Despite this, the Energy sector snapped a five month winning streak after shedding 0.7 per cent. The declines in part reflect tight Covid-19 restrictions applied in China, which softened the demand outlook of oil. Oil prices overnight rallied and were supported by Shanghai’s plans to ease Covid-19 restrictions on Wednesday.

Shares of a2 Milk Company (A2M) have had their best month since June 2021 and added another 0.6 per cent today. This comes after Bubs Australia (BUB) struck an agreement with the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to supply 1.25 million cans of infant formula. A2M has confirmed that it has submitted applications to the US FDA to supply baby food to the US.

In economic news, the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index eased by 0.1 per cent to 90.7. Inflation expectations rose to 5.5 per cent last week, and private sector credit rose by 8.6 per cent annually – the strongest annual growth rate in 13½ years. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said that company operating profits have lifted by 25.3 per cent annually and that wages and salaries are up 5.2 per cent on the year.

5.6bn shares were traded, worth $16.4bn. 657 stocks finished higher, 737 ended lower, while 420 closed unchanged.

In the US, home prices and consumer confidence data are released. Tomorrow, Australian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers are scheduled. On Friday night, the US unemployment rate is released.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author), CommSec