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ASX falls three points on RBA reset, materials sink, retailers outperform

Daily Market Update

The local sharemarket managed to keep losses to just 3 points on Thursday despite a significant selloff in the materials sector, which fell 2 per cent. This was driven by weakening commodity prices and the likes of BHP (ASX:BHP) and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) falling 5.5 and 2.6 per cent respectively. The cyclical financial and retail sectors gained 1.3 and 1 per cent on a number of trading updates from across the market, with Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK) gaining 5.3 per cent on the back of continuing high inflation in the UK. Shares in Santos (ASX:STO) held up reasonably well, falling only slightly, despite the company reporting a 15 per cent fall in production to 22.2 million barrels of oil and a 14 per cent in revenue to US$1.6 billion as the oil price continued to fall. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) fell by more than 2 per cent despite the company reporting the strongest ever start to a year, with a 16 per cent increase in export volumes to 82.54 million tonnes for the quarter.

Brambles upgrades guidance, Redbubble margins improve, BOQ cuts dividend

CHEP pallet owner Brambles (ASX:BXB) finished flat, outperforming the market after the company increase its forecast for full year profit. Management now expected profit growth to be between 17 and 19 per cent, a lift from the prior expectation of 15 to 18 per cent. This has been driven by a willingness to pass on higher input costs to customers. Shares in online retailer Redbubble (ASX:RBL) finished 2.6 per cent lower after company reported that revenue will likely be slightly below 2022 levels with gross margins to finish at around 18 per cent due to heavy discounting. The Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) gained 1.1 per cent despite the company warning of a number of impairments and potential enforcement action related to money laundering and other compliance requirements. Net profit fell 4 per cent for the year, to $256 million, while statutory profit fell by 98 per cent to just $4 million after booking a $200 million impairment. The result was a significant cut in the dividend.

  • S&P500 lower on Tesla weakness, unemployment claims increase, AMEX revenue grows

    All three US benchmarks finished lower on Thursday as reporting season turned to the automobile manufacturers, starting with Tesla (NYSE:TSLA). CEO Elon Musk flagged a renewed focus on winning market share at the expense of profit, which sent shares down more than 9 per cent after an incredibly strong start to the year. This dragged the S&P500 0.6 per cent lower, the Dow Jones 0.3 and the Nasdaq 0.8 per cent. The message was spread across the sector with Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) both down around 3 per cent on the news. Telecommunications and mobile group AT&T (NYSE:T) fell by more than 10 per cent after the company reported much lower than expected free cash flow of US$1 billion, well below the $3.2 billion expected. The company suggested this was seasonal but investors remain impatient. Credit card group American Express (NYSE:AXP) was off 1 per cent despite beating expectations to deliver US$14.3 billion in quarterly revenue as the consumer remains more resilient than expected.

    Drew Meredith

    Drew is publisher of the Inside Network's mastheads and a principal adviser at Wattle Partners.

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