ASX up 0.63% at noon: Retail sales increase 0.5% in July

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

In July, there was a 0.5 percent increase in Australian retail sales, surpassing the anticipated 0.3 percent rise and recovering from an unexpected decline the previous month.

This growth in July contrasts with a 0.8 percent decrease in June 2023 and a corresponding 0.8 percent expansion in May 2023.

Ben Dorber, the ABS head of retail statistics, noted, "Although there was a noticeable increase in July's figures, the underlying expansion in retail turnover remained limited. When considering the ongoing trend, retail turnover showed no change in July, marking a mere 1.9 percent rise compared to July 2022, even in the face of significant price escalation throughout the year."

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.63 per cent higher at 7,160.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 46 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Health Care, up 1.24 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 0.63 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC), trading 3.78 per cent higher at $50.25. It is followed by shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Ampol (ASX:ALD).

The worst-performing large cap is Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG), trading 4.44 per cent lower at $20.00. It is followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and NEXTDC (ASX:NXT).

Company news

Tamboran Resources (ASX:TBN) has signed two non-binding Letters of Intent with Alinta Energy and ENGIE. Managing Director and CEO, Joel Riddle, said: “We continue to experience significant interest in purchasing low-reservoir CO2 gas from our Beetaloo Basin assets delivered into the East Coast over the long term.” Shares are trading 3.7 per cent higher at 14 cents.

Talon Energy (ASX:TPD) refers to today's announcement by Strike Energy (ASX:STX) that its offer to acquire each Talon share by way of a scheme of arrangement is its “Best and Final Offer, in the absence of a superior proposal." The Talon directors conclude that the Scheme is in the best interests of Talon shareholders. Shares are trading 3.85 per cent lower at 18.8 cents.

Sarytogan Graphite (ASX:SGA) reported that thermal purification has now far exceeded battery anode material grade for their graphite deposit in Central Kazakhstan. In response, Managing Director, Sean Gregory commented: “We are thrilled with this 99.99% result that shoots the lights out when it comes to graphite purity by far exceeding the 99.95% specification for battery anode material.” Shares are trading 43 per cent higher at 26.5 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1943.60 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1.8 per cent higher at US$116.60 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.24 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 64.27 US cents.

Peter Milios

Peter Milios is a recent graduate from the University of Technology - majoring in Finance and Accounting. Peter is currently working under equity research analyst Di Brookman for Corporate Connect Research.

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