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ASX flatlines as Guzman y Gomez debuts

GUZMAN Y GOMEZ IPO
In the biggest float in three years, the burrito merchant had a stunning performance on its first day on the ASX. Picture:NewsWire/ Monique Harmer

Australian shares traded sideways on Thursday extending the benchmark’s losing streak to a third straight session despite Mexican fast-food chain Guzman y Gomez’s stunning trading debut after its $335 million initial public offering.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX200 was flat, off just 0.3 points to 7769.4, with the benchmark lacking direction after Wall Street was closed on Wednesday for the Juneteenth public holiday. Conversely, the broader All Ordinaries crept higher, up 1.2 points, to 8012.1.

Against the greenback, the Australian dollar was buying 66.68c at 5:00pm.

GUZMAN Y GOMEZ IPO
Shares in the Mexican fast food chain vaulted to $30 a piece, valuing the company at $3bn. Picture:NewsWire/ Monique Harmer

IG Australia market analyst Tony Sycamore said while the US equity markets had performed strongly since the start of the year, local stocks had been far more subdued.

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“With six trading days left until the halfway mark of 2024, the ASX200 has gained only 2.3 per cent this year, while the US NASDAQ 100 has surged 18.3 per cent in the same period,” Mr Sycamore said.

Heading into the new financial year, however, would bring further gains in Australian shares, Mr Sycamore said.

“Technically, our view has been that the ASX200 will trade sideways in June before an eventual break higher in the New Financial Year towards 800,” he said, adding that “with six full trading days left until the end of the month, the view has played out well thus far.”

On the benchmark, the real estate sector was the top performing, up 0.5 per cent across the session. Goodman Group firmed 0.3 per cent to $35.54, Scentre climbed 1.6 per cent to $3.15 and Mirvac rose 1 per cent to $1.95

The materials sector drifted lower even as the iron ore heavyweight miners advanced. Rio Tinto added 0.4 per cent to $119.67, Fortescue rose 0.2 per cent to $21.90, and BHP was flat at $42.75.

Meanwhile, financial stocks buoyed the benchmark with all of the big four banks finishing in the green. Commonwealth Bank was the top performer, up 0.6 per cent to $127.75, followed by Westpac up 0.5 per cent to $27.25, ANZ up 0.2 per cent to $29.19 and NAB up 0.1 per cent to $36.19.

AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY
Investors struggled for direction after Wall Street was closed for the Juneteenth public holiday. Picture: NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

In the biggest float on the ASX in three years, Mexican fast food chain Guzman y Gomez was the top performer. After listing at its initial public offer price of $22 a share, the burrito business rocketed 36.4 per cent to $30 a piece, pushing the company’s valuation to $3bn.

In excess of 60 million shares, out of just over 100 million issued, were sold during the first 10 minutes of trading.

In other corporate news, shares in Red5 were the worst performing, off 7.9 per cent to 41c extending its sell-off after it revealed a number of changes to its executive team.

After tumbling 20.9 per cent during Wednesday’s session, shares in Helia Group recovered most of their losses, vaulting 16.2 per cent to $3.88 a share after the mortgage broker flagged a potential deal with the nation’s largest lender, Commonwealth Bank.

Property giant Dexus 1.7 per cent to $6.43 after it announced that the book value of its portfolio had slumped 9 per cent in the six months to June.