The local sharemarket extended its losses to a second straight day, with the ASX 200 falling by 97.2pts or 1.42 per cent to 6,729.3. Nine sectors and roughly 70 per cent of stocks in the ASX 200 finished in negative territory. Energy stocks fell the most (-2.88 per cent), and the Financial sector also posted declines of 2 per cent, driven in part by the Big 4 banks, which retreated today on average by 2.15 per cent. Miners (down 2.1 per cent) also weighed on the
market after they posted their biggest loss this week. The Tech sector, however edged 0.3 per cent higher.

In economic news, the Australian economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), continued to grow in the June quarter to be up by 3.6 per cent on the year (0.9 per cent over the quarter). Its growth was underpinned in part by strong household spending, following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, and a 48-year low unemployment rate. Exports also contributed to the growth of the economy after they were boosted by improvements across some
commodity prices.

In company news, Metcash (MTS) released a trading update this morning. The IGA operator said that its sales for the 17 weeks to August 28 grew by 8.9 per cent over the year. MTS also noted that its Food sales and Supermarket sales improved by 4.3 per cent and 3.4 per cent, respectively. The retailer however, mentioned that it is experiencing supply chain & labour cost pressures. Shares of MTS were up by as much as 3 per cent in early trade, but finished
with a modest improvement of 0.5%.

Lake Resources (LKE) has “appointed David Dickson to the role of CEO and Managing Director”, after a “global six-month search”. Mr Dickson is “currently a Senior Advisor to Private Equity firm, Quantum Energy Partners” and has “over 30 years’ experience” across the Energy sector. Shares of LKE rose by 0.41 per cent and are on track to snap 3 straight weeks of declines.

United Malt Group (UMG) noted that a ‘significant improvement is expected in the volume & quality of the North American barley crop compared to last year’. UMG has also received additional inventory funding capacity to ‘accommodate expanded short term requirements’. UMG rose by 1.5 per cent.


Top Australian Brokers


Stocks that traded ex-dividend today and weighed on the market include Amcor (AMC), Austal (ASB), Brambles (BXB), Healius (HLS), Medibank Private (MPL), Seek (SEK) & Viva Energy (VEA).

4.1bn shares were traded, worth $9.5bn. 507 stocks rose, 855 fell & 386 finished unchanged.

In the US tonight, the trade balance is released with the US Federal Reserve’s Beige Book.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author), CommSec