ASX flat ahead of inflation data

Australia’s share market has opened flat after a negative lead from Wall Street and ahead of key inflation data later on Wednesday.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 0.6 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 6021.1 points after the first 15 minutes of trade on Wednesday.

The All Ordinaries index was lower by 1.1 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 6145.7.

Utilities was the best performing sector, higher by 0.9 per cent, followed by financials, up 0.77 per cent.

Information technology had the weakest start, down 0.91 per cent, while materials sector was also down 0.82 per cent.

Investors will be watching for inflation data for the June quarter, due to be released today.

Economists expect Australia’s key inflation measure, the consumer price index, will drop about 2.0 per cent on the back of lower fuel prices and free childcare amid the pandemic.

A 2.0 per cent drop would be the biggest quarterly fall since records began in 1948 and would take the annual rate negative for the first time since 1997.

Overnight, several major US companies reported earnings that fell short of analysts’ already lowered expectations as the coronavirus pandemic stole customers away and increased some costs.

The US Federal Reserve also began a two-day meeting on interest rates, with an announcement scheduled for Thursday AEST. Investors largely expect the central bank to keep short-term rates at their record low.

The three major US stock indices ended between 0.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent lower.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 71.67 US cents at 1015 AEST, higher from 71.32 US cents at Tuesday’s close.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.