Sharemarket dips as James Hardie, Sonic Healthcare sink

Jack QuailNCA NewsWire
It was a subdued session on Tuesday. Newswire/ Gaye Gerard
Camera IconIt was a subdued session on Tuesday. Newswire/ Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

Australian shares inched lower on Tuesday, with miners and telecommunications stocks weighing on the benchmark in a subdued trading session.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX200 slipped 0.2 per cent, or 12 points, to 7851.7, while the broader All Ordinaries fell by a similar amount to 8120.2.

The Australian dollar was trading at US66.59c at 4pm.

While market reaction to the release of the Reserve Bank’s latest meeting minutes was muted, TMS Capital’s Ben Clark said they had read a “bit more hawkish” than expected, pushing bond yields higher.

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“They’re definitely alluding to the fact that rates are higher for longer if nothing else,” he said.

Camera IconInvestors shrugged of the RBA’s latest meeting minutes which read slightly more hawkish. NewsWire / Nikki Short Credit: News Corp Australia

Across the benchmark, seven of 11 industry sectors finished in the green, with the index led by tech stocks, up 0.7 per cent.

Sector heavyweights were mixed with Wisetech up 0.7 per cent to $98.58, while Xero was off 0.3 per cent to $124.95.

Meanwhile, TechnologyOne jumped 4.6 per cent to $16.75 — its biggest intraday gain in four years — after it reported first-half pre-tax profits of $61.5m, up 17 per cent year-on-year.

Offsetting the rally was a fall in the telecommunications sector, down 1.1 per cent, with Telstra sliding 2.7 per cent to $3.57.

The telco giant unveiled it would slash 2800 jobs from its direct workforce by the end of the year as part of broader measures designed to bolster productivity and streamline operations.

Materials stocks also dragged on the benchmark, off 0.7 per cent, even as iron ore traded above $US120 per tonne for the first time since February.

Sector heavyweights were mixed with Rio Tinto down 1.3 per cent to $134.09 and Fortescue off 0.8 per cent to $27.01.

However, BHP rallied 0.7 per cent to $46.04. The mining giant appears unlikely to broker a deal with copper miner Anglo American before a deadline under the UK Takeovers Code due Wednesday.

Camera IconBHP boss Mike Henry ran down the clock on the miners bid for copper giant Anglo American. NewsWire / Aaron Francis Credit: News Corp Australia

Elsewhere on the benchmark, financials were flat in a mixed session for the big four banks.

While NAB was off 0.1 per cent to $34.71, Westpac finished 0.4 per cent higher to $27.07 and ANZ climbed 0.5 per cent to $28.31. CBA was flat at $121.79.

In corporate news, embattled gaming giant Star Entertainment dived 7.4 per cent to 50c after Florida-based Casino and Hotel group Hard Rock denied reports it had lobbed a takeover bid for Australian casino operator.

Construction supplies company James Hardie was the worst performer on the benchmark, plunging 14.8 per cent to $46.67 — their biggest intraday fall since March 2020.

The group flagged a weakening outlook next financial year, in part driven by falling US demand.

Shares in Sonic Healthcare slumped six per cent to $25.01 after the company flagged lower profits due to continued inflationary pressures. The diagnostics company forecast full-year earnings of $1.6bn.

Originally published as Sharemarket dips as James Hardie, Sonic Healthcare sink

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