• The ASX drops 1.40% with every sector in the red
  • CBA chief economist says $1.90 likely to be a ‘fair’ price for petrol
  • The National Skills Commission is set to release the internet job vacancy index

 

The ASX 200 closed 1.40% lower today, with each and every sector in the red.

Utilities led the fall, down 3.18%, followed by IT and Health Care down 2.59% and 2.11% respectively.

Energy dropped 1.15%, failing to hang onto the coattails of crude oil prices which surged last week after OPEC+ producers decided to cut production quotas by 2 million barrels per day.

The aim is to support prices at a time when demand is softening in response to higher interest rates, but there are no guarantees that the production cuts will work to sustainably boost prices if the global economy falls into recession.

On Aussie shores, Commsec says the national average wholesale (Terminal Gate Price or TGP) petrol price rose by 13.4 cents last week to 170.7c/l. 

Today, the TGP is near 171.5c/l, up 1.3 cents on a week ago and it looks like $1.90 is going to be the new ‘fair’ price for petrol.

What does this mean for investors? Well, the higher petrol price will add to inflation, keeping upward pressure on the cash rate. 

“While higher interest rates may allow financial companies to lift margins, other sectors such as retail, technology and smaller businesses may be negatively impacted by rising rates,” Commsec says. 

“The higher petrol price is potentially positive for revenues of energy producers; in fact the Energy sector has been the strongest performing ASX sector in 2022.”

Looking ahead, the National Skills Commission is set to release the internet job vacancy index which CBA chief economist Craig Jones says deserves “watching carefully” because employers may give up the search for staff if suitable employees can’t be found or cost too much, instead working existing staff harder or looking for computer/equipment to complete tasks.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Payments processing provider Pushpay Holdings (ASX:PPH) says it’s become aware of media speculation that a shareholder consortium has submitted a revised proposal to acquire the company at a premium to Friday’s closing share price – and word on the street is its private equity firm BGH Capital.

“As part of the ongoing process, the company has received a revised indicative non-binding proposal and is continuing to assess whether there is the potential for a transaction that is in the best interests of shareholders as a whole,” PPH says.

“There is no certainty that a transaction will proceed or as to the pricing or timing of any transaction. Pushpay will continue to keep the market updated in accordance with its continuous disclosure obligations.” 

And Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) is making a $33m strategic investment for 20% of socialised digital wagering platform, Dabble Sports Pty Ltd (Dabble), which it says will provide “both exposure to Dabble’s innovative product capability and strength in the younger customer segment.”

Dabble has over 150,000 customers (over 80% of which it says are of the youthful persuasion) and reported annualised revenue of ~$47m for the June quarter.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Building and restoration company Johns Lyng Group (ASX:JLG) says MD and Group CEO Scott Didier has sold 4 million shares in the company – or around 7.5% of his total holdings.

Apparently the share sale will fund Didier’s relocation and living expenses including the purchase of a family home in Colorado (noice) as part of his role managing the company’s US operations.

“I remain incredibly proud of what JLG does every day in Australia and now in the US,” he said.

“The continued flood events in Australia and with events such as Hurricane Ian in Florida have demonstrated what a critical role we play in the catastrophe management chain now globally.”