On Thursday, the dropped by 1.36% to 6981.60, mirroring global market weakness and influenced by escalating Middle East tensions, surging oil prices, and rising inflation and interest rates. The slump was observed across all sectors, with Utilities bearing the least losses while Tech, Consumer Staples, Real Estate, and Financials were heavily impacted.
In a surprising turn of events, the Unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, although this was somewhat offset by a decline in the Participation rate. Despite this positive development on the employment front, it was not enough to buoy the market.
Several individual stocks also suffered on Thursday. Netwealth Group Ltd’s shares took a hit due to an underwhelming update on Funds Under Administration (FUA). Meanwhile, Nick Scali Limited’s shares also experienced a slight dip despite showing improved sales after a soft start to FY24.
In the airline sector, Qantas Airways Limited made headlines by scrapping its plans to purchase Alliance Aviation due to concerns raised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). In contrast, Northern Star Resources Ltd held steady, maintaining its FY24 guidance following an expected sale of 369koz.
Iluka Resources Limited reported a significant 37% decrease in 3Q sales volumes, attributing the decline to a weak property market in China. This news further compounded the already strained market situation.
The Lithium sector was notably affected as Bank of America Corp (NYSE:) downgraded US-listed Lithium companies. This move had a ripple effect on battery chemical stocks. Despite these developments, Gold remained stable at $US1,947.
Asian markets followed suit with Hong Kong dropping by 2.15%, China by 1.42%, and Japan by 1.7%. US futures also took a hit with a decrease of around 0.25%.
In the ongoing US reporting cycle, Blackstone (NYSE:NYSE:) and Freeport McMoran (NYSE:FCX) are set to release their financial results, which are eagerly anticipated by market watchers. The performance of these companies may provide further insight into the current global economic scenario.
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