Australian sharemarket soars as US inflation cools

By Jessica Yun

Welcome to your five-minute recap of the trading day and how experts saw it.

The numbers

The Australian sharemarket stayed in good spirits all of Thursday’s session after Wall Street rose to its highest level in over a year amid positive signs of cooling inflation.

The S&P/ASX200 closed up 1.5 per cent, or 111.2 points, to 7246.9 points, with gains across the board. Every sector was in the green, with real estate, tech, consumer discretionary and materials stocks all pulling up the bourse.

The latest inflation report has boosted Wall Street.
The latest inflation report has boosted Wall Street. Credit: AP

The lifters

Imugene wound up as the day’s best performer, lifting 9.9 per cent, followed by Perseus Mining (8.1 per cent) and Virgin Money (7.7 per cent). The major miners did well: Rio Tinto gained 3 per cent and BHP lifted 1.5 per cent. All the big four banks finished in the green, with CBA up 1.5 per cent, ANZ gaining 1.4 per cent, Westpac rising 1.2 per cent and NAB edging up 0.5 per cent.

The laggards

QBE Insurance finished the day as the worst performer, sliding 2.9 per cent, followed by NIB Holdings ( down 1.8 per cent) and Medibank Private, which dropped 1.5 per cent.

The lowdown


“GrainCorp is currently considering its position in relation to the decision, but notes that the decision concerns a procedural matter as to how the proceeding will be conducted and does not reflect any substantive assessment by the court of the merits of the proceeding,” the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, investors in Domino’s cheered the global deal the pizza giant signed with Uber that will mean Australians with Uber One subscriptions get free delivery on Domino’s orders. Domino’s share price finished 3 per cent higher.

The local bourse’s strong performance came after inflation figures from the US prompted the S&P 500 to lift 0.7 per cent overnight to its strongest closing level since April 2022. The Dow Jones rose 0.3 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 1.2 per cent. The Australian dollar was up strongly, rising to US68¢. It was fetching US67.89¢ at 11.05am AEST.

Consumers in the US are paying more for petrol, food and other items than they were a year ago.
Consumers in the US are paying more for petrol, food and other items than they were a year ago.Credit: AP

Most stocks rose on Wall Street, from flashy big tech behemoths to staid utility companies, though the gains faded a bit as the day progressed.

The US government’s latest update on inflation showed consumers paid prices for petrol, food and other items that were 3 per cent higher overall in June than a year earlier. That’s down from 4 per cent inflation in May and a bit more than 9 per cent last summer. Perhaps more importantly, it was a touch lower than economists expected.

High inflation has been at the centre of Wall Street’s problems because it has driven the Federal Reserve to jack up interest rates at a blistering pace. Higher rates undercut inflation by slowing the entire economy and hurting investment prices, and they’ve already caused damage to the banking, manufacturing and other industries.

Traders remain almost convinced the Fed will raise the federal funds rate at its meeting in two weeks to a range of between 5.25 per cent and 5.5 per cent, which would be its highest level since 2001. But expectations are also climbing for that to be the final increase, after rates started last year at virtually zero.

Tweet of the day

Quote of the day

“It would be wrong and arrogant of me to tell you we haven’t learned things. We need to own where we can improve. When we began operations five months ago, we said we care deeply about making sure we offer flights to areas which seek them; this is actually doubling down on that.”

That’s Bonza’s chief commercial officer, Carly Povey, after the budget airline had to cut five routes from its schedule less than six months into operations due to a lack of demand and reliability issues on its more popular routes.

You may have missed

If you think you’ve felt the worst of the pain from interest rate rises, think again: the worst may be to come. Commonwealth Bank boss Matt Comyn appeared remotely before the House of Representatives banking inquiry on Thursday, saying cost pressure on households will intensify in the months ahead and that people in their early 30s are feeling the squeeze particularly sharply.

With AP

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