ASX limps to the finishing line ending flat

August 4, 2022 - 2 weeks ago

The Australian share market drifted sideways throughout Thursday, finishing the session day flat.

At the closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index slid -1.0 points, or -0.01%, to 6,974.9, while the All Ordinaries rose +4.6% points, or +0.06%, to 7,207.5, while our local currency, the Australian dollar, is currently buying US$0.6968.

On the sectoral front, the top-performing sector on the day was technology, which advanced +1.9% to the highest level since early May, as materials and energy drag on the index.

Energy stocks underperformed, following a 4% slump in oil prices overnight, with Woodside falling -3.05% to $31.52, while Santos lost -1.27% to $7.00 and Ampol fell -2.47% to $33.21.

Meanwhile, biotech Mesoblast placed its shares on a trading halt and said it would undertake a private placement to raise cash without providing further details.

Among the banks, the “Fab Four” banks were firmer, with Westpac adding +0.46% to $21.85 and CBA rose +1.32% to $101.80, while NAB gained +0.39% to $30.90, ANZ climbed +0.31% to $22.78, and Macquarie Group Ltd fell -0.28% to $175.90.

In other banking news, ANZ reported passing on higher interest rates to customers after reporting it will increase all variable interest rates for its Australian home loans by 0.5 of a percentage point per annum from August 12.

The move follows CBA and Macquarie, who have passed on the RBA’s Tuesday 50 basis point increase to their customers.

Flight Centre rose, +0.87% to $17.33, while Corporate Travel Management gained +3.41% to $19.70, Webjet rose +0.2% to $5.07.

Healthcare stocks slipped by -0.26%, led by biotech major CSL sliding -0.73% to $294.59.