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ASX dips in quiet trading after hawkish RBA

The Australian sharemarket drifted lower in a quiet session on June 19, 2024. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles
The Australian sharemarket drifted lower in a quiet session on June 19, 2024. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

Investors look to have shrugged off hawkish remarks from the Reserve Bank of Australia with the sharemarket recording only a slight dip in quiet trading on Wednesday after Tuesday’s strong advance.

At the closing bell, the benchmark ASX200 had drifted lower 8.4 points, or 0.11 per cent, to end at 7769.7, while the broader All Ordinaries index dipped 5.3 points, or 0.07 per cent, to finish at 8010.5.

Tech stocks slipped 0.16 per cent, or 4.9 points, to end at 3089.1.

The quiet session followed a strong advance on the local market on Tuesday, with the benchmark rising 1 per cent despite the RBA warning it would do “what is necessary” to return inflation to its 2-3 per cent target band.

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The quiet day followed a subdued night on Wall St.

The Dow Jones edged up 0.15 per cent to 38,834 points, while the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.25 per cent and 0.029 per cent, respectively.

The Aussie dollar gained against the Greenback, rising 0.2 per cent to buy US66.6c at the closing bell.

AUSTRALIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
The benchmark ASX200 drifted lower on a quiet day of trading on Wednesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

The US markets are closed on Wednesday for the Juneteenth public holiday.

Five of 11 industry sectors ended in the green, led by energy with a 0.85 per cent rise.

The sector lifted on the back off a rise in global oil prices, with Brent crude lifting 1.3 per cent to hit $US85 a barrel.

Oil and gas heavyweights Woodside and Santos both advanced strongly, with Woodside climbing 1.26 per cent to $27.28 a share and Santos rising 1.09 per cent to $7.43.

The big miners were relatively flat, with BHP dipping 0.14 per cent to $42.74 and Rio Tinto slipping 0.04 per cent to $119.21.

Fortescue booked a small 0.32 per cent gain to $21.86 after Tuesday’s sharp 5 per cent sell-off.

The big banks were mixed, with NAB booking a 0.47 per cent gain to $36.17.

Commonwealth Bank fell 0.81 per cent to $126.94, Westpac slipped 0.37 per cent to $27.12 and ANZ drifted 0.38 per cent lower to close at $29.13.

In corporate news, Mexican fast food chain Guzman y Gomez will list on the ASX on Thursday.

The float will value the growing takeaway business at $2.2bn.

PETER DUTTON PRESSER
Uranium stocks boomed on the back of the Coalition’s nuclear energy announcement. Picture: NewsWire / Nikki Short

Insurance giant QBE dived 4.25 per cent to $17.59 a share after announcing an “orderly closure” of its North American middle-market segment and updated “catastrophe” costs, including exposure to unrest in New Caledonia.

Uranium stocks jumped after Opposition Leader Peter Dutton confirmed the LNP would add nuclear energy to the energy mix if elected, with seven power plants listed for the country.

“The assets will be owned by the Commonwealth, a very important point,” Mr Dutton said.

Boss Energy climbed 2.2 per cent to $4.19, Deep Yellow jumped 4.21 per cent to $1.48 and Paladin Energy rose 1.11 per cent to $13.70.

The top gainer of the ASX200 was Telix Pharmaceuticals, which soared 4.36 per cent to $17.95.

The drug company has been on a tear since announcing

The biggest laggard was Helia Group, which crashed nearly 21 per cent to $3.34 after announcing major customer Commonwealth Bank had issued it with a request for proposal for the bank’s external lenders mortgage insurance requirements.