ASX Large Caps: Australian stocks without direction as unemployment rate remains at 3.9%

  • The ASX 200 closed down 0.2%
  • Coal stocks rose after BHP announcement
  • Link in hot water after ACCC weighs in on merger deal

Australian blue chips mostly traded sideways today, with the ASX 200 index eventually ending the day down 0.20%.

The real estate and telecommunications sectors led, while industrials and commodities lagged.

Global markets saw mixed results after the U.S. Fed raised its benchmark rate by 75 basis points overnight, the biggest increase since 1994.

Wall Street and European markets were mostly up after the announcement, but today some of Asia’s major exchanges fell – with HangSeng and Singapore STI down 1%.

The Australian Unemployment Rate ABS release did not provide any guidance to the local market.

According to the ABS, the Australian unemployment rate remained at 3.9% (as in April), despite the arrival of 61,000 new people in the labor market.

Barrenjoey’s chief economist, Jo Masters, told The Australian that the high employment figures are “a catch-22 for the RBA”.

“On the one hand, the strong result will put upward pressure on inflation and wage growth.

“On the other hand, record unemployment, strong job growth, record employment-to-population ratio and wage growth momentum will be important support for consumers in the tough times ahead.” , Masters said.

Later in the evening, the Bank of England is expected to make its fifth consecutive rate hike to combat soaring inflation in the UK.


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lithium game Ioneer (ASX:INR) was the best performing large cap today, up 13% without news.

Coal stocks Stanmore Resources (ASX: SMR) jumped 11% and Whitehaven (ASX:WHC) increased by 4% after the announcement BHP (ASX:BHP) will cancel its planned sale of NSW’s largest thermal coal mine after failing to find a buyer and in response to pressure from green investors and ESG groups.

Instead, BHP will operate the Mount Arthur operation in the Hunter Valley, but has requested an extension to its planned end date from 2026 to 2030, when the mine will close and BHP will assume its environmental responsibilities.


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Administration of links (ASX: LNK) crashed 10% today after competition watchdog ACCC said Dye & Durham’s $3.5 billion takeover of Link could ‘allow D&D and Link to engage into mutual preferential agreements that would impede existing competition or raise barriers to entry into one or more markets in the conveyancing workflow,” the ACCC said.

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