• The ASX closes flat
  • Lithium, e-commerce stocks lose ground
  • Bitcoin back below US$20k

Local shares closed flat on Tuesday as gains in seven sectors were offset by losses in four sectors.

At the close, the ASX 200 was down by 0.20% to 6,610.

Consumer Staples and Healthcare led the pack, rising by over 1.5%. Tech and Mining meanwhile lagged, down by almost 1%.

Lithium miners tumbled as two of the sector’s biggest names, Lake Resources and Core Lithium, plunged by around 7%.

Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) has put itself on voluntary trading halt as it prepares a response to the ASX about a claim made by short seller J Capital that Lake paid millions in stocks to advisory firms when its own directors were selling shares.

Retailers meanwhile were weighed down by the release of the weekly ANZ and Roy Morgan survey of consumer confidence, which showed a 2.5% decline last week.

According to the survey, fewer than a third (30%) of Australians expect their family to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year, compared to 34% that expect to be ‘worse off’.

When it comes to buying intentions, just 25% (down 1ppt) of Australians, say now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items while 47% (unchanged), say now is a ‘bad time to buy’.

Retail e-commerce stocks like Kogan (ASX:KGN) and Redbubble (ASX:RBL) sank by 9% and 4% respectively on the news.

Bitcoin meanwhile has slumped back below the closely watched US$20k level, and is now trading at US$19,985.

New York crypto research firm Delphi Digital’s latest analysis reportedly predicts “more pain ahead for risk assets”, with potential BTC support down at US$15k or even US$9k-$12k

BIG CAP WINNERS

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The corporate earnings season is now underway, with Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) reporting today that its first half profit will exceed guidance.

The APE share price rose by 3% as it predicted a net profit of$246 million for the full year, versus a $225 million ~ $240 million range forecast made in May.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Mobile app creator Life360 (ASX:360) lost 11%, dragged down by negative sentiment around internet tech stocks today.