ASX closes 0.7% lower: Industrials is best performing sector




The Australian sharemarket saw a 0.7 per cent decline, with the S&P/ASX 200 index dropping 55.9 points at closing, primarily due to dashed hopes of an immediate rate cut by central banks triggered by a hotter-than-expected United States CPI result. This sell-off, heavily influenced by major bank losses, reflects uncertainties regarding when central banks will consider inflation under control, amid expectations of delayed rate cuts. The US CPI's slower-than-anticipated cooling in January prompted Australian bond futures to postpone the first Reserve Bank easing to December, aligning with Fed fund futures, which now imply three rate cuts starting in July, affecting commodities such as BHP's stock following a decrease in iron ore prices.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 18 points.

The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 0.5 points.

The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 9.5 points.

The SPI futures are down 62 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Industrials, up 0.26 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 1.32 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was IDP Education (ASX:IEL), closing 8.3 per cent higher at $21.92. It was followed by shares in Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW) and Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ).

The worst-performing large cap was SEEK (ASX:SEK), closing 5.23 per cent lower at $24.28. It was followed by shares in Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) and JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.64 per cent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.13 per cent.

China's Shanghai Composite has lost 1.80 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,005.10 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.2 per cent higher at US$129.20 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 2.39 per cent rise.

Light crude is trading $0.05 lower at US$77.82 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 64.65 US cents.


Name Peter Milios

Peter Milios is a recent graduate from the University of Technology - majoring in Finance and Accounting. Peter is currently working under equity research analyst Di Brookman for Corporate Connect Research.