BHP slips on ratings cut, Woodside jumps, Bubs & Australian Dairy soars: ASX falls 0.9% at noon

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

Women in leadership took the spotlight after news of several executive leadership changes. Despite the ASX 200 falling to a four-day low, the spark of energy shares and Aussie baby formula products soon to hit the shelves in the US helped soften the fall.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.9 per cent or 65 points lower at 7,169. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 67 points.

Energy is up by 2.4 per cent while information technology is down by 1.9 per cent. Most sectors are in the red, with healthcare, industrials, consumer staples and financials by up to 1.5 per cent each. The rest of the sectors are trading lower.

Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS) is the best performer, soaring 4.9 per cent at $31.68, followed by Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), and IGO (ASX:IGO). Life360 (ASX:360) sinks 5.9 per cent at $3.22, followed by Block (ASX:SQ2), and Nanosonics (ASX:NAN).

Overshadowing the news that Sheryl Sandberg will step down as Meta’s chief operating officer, Penny Wong made history as both the first Asian-born and openly gay woman to become Australia’s top diplomat.

Investors also sold on the news by 1.5 per cent to $80.18 that ASX (ASX:ASX) has named its first female managing director and chief executive officer Helen Lofthouse to start in August

Meanwhile, shares in (ASX:KGN dipped by 0.3 per cent to $3.53 on news that Gracie MacKinlay has been promoted to chief executive officer of New Zealand founded eCommerce platform, Mighty Ape.

However, Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) appointment of Dale Henderson as managing director and chief executive officer has been well received, with shares up 0.4 per cent to $2.31.

Following yesterday’s better-then-expected GDP figures, there was more positive economic news with Australia's trade surplus widening to $10.5 billion in April from an upwardly revised $9.74 billion in the previous month, beating market expectations of a surplus of $9.3 billion. Exports grew by 1 per cent over the month to a new record high of $50.38 billion, while imports fell 0.7 per cent to $39.9 billion in the same period.

Infant formula producers rebounded, with shares in Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB), soaring 12 per cent to 65.5 cents. Australian Dairy Nutritionals (ASX:AHF) is also on the move, up 7.6 per cent to 8.5 cents while A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) is flat.

Macquarie (ASX:MQG) is leading the banks lower by 2.4 per cent at $183.87 while Westpac (ASX:WBC) is shedding the least by 0.6 per cent at $23.96.

BHP (ASX:BHP) fell 1.1 per cent to $45.15 amid S&P Global downgrading its credit rating to “A-”. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is trading 1.3 per cent lower at $113.45 while Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) has shed 0.5 per cent to $20.66.

Elsewhere, Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) fell 0.5 per cent to $47.35 after chief Rob Scott said the group is set to focus on new growth areas, including the Mt Holland lithium project, its health division, and leveraging its brands and stores with digital unit OneDigital.
Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1846.02 an ounce.
Iron ore is flat at US$136.55 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.38 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.73 US cents.

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