By Najma Sambul
The Australian sharemarket has slid lower as inflation rose to 7.8 per cent, its highest peak since 1990.
The ASX is 17.6 points, or 0.2 per cent lower just after 1pm AEDT to 7427.8 points as inflation jumped higher than expected, making more interest rate rises likely.
James Hardie Industries was among the best-performing stocks, climbing up 2.6 per cent and QBE is 2 per cent higher. Bottom performing stocks include Imugene Limited down 6.7 per cent and West African Resources Limited which is 5.7 per cent lower.
AMP shares are 0.7 per cent lower after the company announced its profits will take a $68 million hit from impairments caused by lease contracts for office space that it no longer needs.
Meanwhile, oil and gas giant Woodside slid by 0.9 per cent. The energy giant’s revenues fell 12 per cent on the back of a fall in oil prices but announced it had surpassed its production guidance for 2022 after increasing output to record levels.
CBA led the big four banks with a 0.3 per cent gain while ANZ slid by 0.2 per cent, NAB was flat and Westpac retreated by 0.1 per cent.
The miners all dipped with BHP is 0.6 per cent lower, Rio Tinto falling by 0.5 per cent and Fortescue edging 0.1 per cent lower in early-afternoon trade.
Overnight, Wall Street’s major stock indexes closed mixed, as more big companies delivered their financial results for the last three months of 2022 amid lingering concerns about a potential recession.
The S&P 500 slipped less than 0.1 per cent, its second loss in three trading days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 per cent and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.3 per cent. Small company stocks also lost ground, with the Russell 2000 shedding 0.3 per cent.
The decline for major indexes marked a reversal from Monday, when a tech company-driven rally more than made up for the S&P 500’s losses last week.
Stocks have been volatile as investors try to get a better sense of how inflation is affecting the economy, the potential for a recession and whether the Federal Reserve can ease up on its aggressive interest rate increases.
The latest batch of earnings show that companies continue to struggle with the effects of inflation on consumers and supply chains.
Microsoft rose 4 per cent in after-hours trading after the software and technology giant reported earnings that topped Wall Street’s forecasts. It closed down 0.2 per cent in regular trading.
All told, the S&P 500 slipped 2.86 points to 4,016.95. The Nasdaq gave up 30.14 points to close at 11,334.27, while the Dow added 104.40 points to 33,733.96.
The Russell 2000 index of small companies slid 5.16 points, or 0.3 per cent, to finish at 1,885.61.
US crude oil prices settled 1.8 per cent lower.
Trading in more than a dozen companies was temporarily halted on the New York Stock Exchange after an apparent technical issue caused wide swings in their stock prices right as the market opened. Shares in Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, AT&T and other companies moved sharply at the open, triggering a halt in trading. The prices corrected after trading resumed. The NYSE says it is investigating the “reported issues” and all systems are now operational.
Source: Thanks smh.com