The Aussie sharemarket erased its early gains following a series of economic updates and finished with a decline of 34.2 points or 0.5 per cent to 6462. Eight sectors and around 65 per cent of stocks in the ASX 200 lost ground. The Energy sector, despite climbing by as much as 3.4 per cent in early trade, dipped into negative territory before finishing with a modest gain of 0.07 per cent. The Big 4 banks all retreated, dragging the broader Financials sector lower for the fifth straight day. Despite coal miners Coronado Global Resources (CRN), Whitehaven Coal (WHC) & New Hope Corporation (NHC) ranking amongst the best performers today (rising by 5.9 per cent, 3.9 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively), the local Mining sector fell 0.6 per cent.

On the economic front, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), retail trade rose by 0.6 per cent in August (survey: 0.4 per cent) to be up 19.2 per cent over the year. The strongerthan-expected update paves the way for the Reserve Bank to consider the possibility of larger rate hikes in future meetings. Timelier Commonwealth Bank (CBA) credit and debit card spending data however shows spending growth has moderated in September and may now be flat-lining. The Consumer Discretionary sector tumbled by 1.1 per cent, and rate-sensitive sectors like Tech and Property also finished in negative territory.

In company news today, Bubs Australia (BUB) rose 5.1 per cent after it announced that it will be the controlling partner in a joint venture with Heilongjian Ubeite Dairy Group (HUG), through a 75 per cent stake. The partnership concerns BUB’s infant formula products in China, which are expected to launch in 2H of FY23. The launch however is subject to the approval of the Chinese regulators.

Telix Pharmaceuticals (TLX) was the worst performer on the ASX 200 after it fell by 15.4 per cent. The biotechnology company announced that it withdrew its marketing authorisation application for its Illuccix product, after European regulators requested for data that TLX believes, was not able to be ‘reasonably delivered within the prescribed review timeframe’.

Coles (COL) distributed around $400 million in dividends to eligible investors today. Tomorrow, Fortescue Metals (FMG) and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) are also scheduled to pay out their final dividends, with a combined distribution amount of around $7.3 billion. Myer (MYR) traded ex-dividend today and fell by 5.2 per cent.


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In other economic news, the Federal Budget outcome for 2021/22 was issued by the Treasurer and revealed an underlying cash budget deficit of $32 billion, down by $47.9 billion on the deficit previously forecast in the FY23 Budget (delivered on March 29). Gross debt was $895.3 billion (39 per cent of GDP), with net debt standing at $515.6 billion (22.5 per cent of GDP).

Today, 3.9bn shares were traded, worth $8.5bn. 505 stocks rose, 867 fell & 381 finished unchanged.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author) CommSec