• ASX lifts to end four-day losing streak with S&P 200 up 0.65%
  • China hits back at West ‘de-risking’ as ‘false proposition
  • Medibank shares fall after $250 million capital requirement


Australian shares have shaken a four-day losing streak with recent heavy selling seeming to settle for now.  The S&P ASX 200 closed up 0.65% to finish on 7124.70 points.

Five of the 11 sectors were in the green today. Leading the gainers was real estate up 2.12% with residential and commercial developers up across the board. The materials rose 1.16%, while financials lifted 0.88%.

The communications services sector led the laggards falling 0.49% followed by tech down 0.23% and healthcare dropping 0.14%.

The ASX rose today despite all three major US indexes finishing in the red in their Monday session. On Wall Street the Dow fell 0.04%, the S&P 500 slipped 0.5% and the tech heavy NASDAQ lost 1.2%. European markets finished mixed.

To China where Premier Li Qiang said the country is progressing to achieve its 5% target for economic growth in 2023 and hit back at the US and the EU who have in recent months moved to “de-risk” from the world’s second-largest economy.

Li was addressing a meeting of global political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in northern China – known  as the ‘Summer Davos’ – which has returned after three-years following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the West, some people are hyping up what is called ‘cutting reliance and de-risking’,” Li said.

“These two concepts… are a false proposition, because the development of economic globalisation is such that the world economy has become a common entity in which you and I are both intermingled.

“The economies of many countries are blended with each other, rely on each other, make accomplishments because of one another, and develop together.

“This is actually a good thing, not a bad thing.”

In Asia today markets were mixed.  At 4.10pm (AEST) Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 1.98%. In mainland China the Shanghai Composite was up 1.25%, while the Shenzhen Composite rose 0.85%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down by 0.49%, while the Topix fell 0.31%.  In South Korea the Kospi lost some of yesterday’s ground falling 0.096% and the Kosdaq was 0.74% lower.

Tomorrow the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the all important monthly CPI data. In Australia inflation exceeded market expectations and on an annual basis rose to 6.8% in April, up from 6.3% in March.

Eyes are also on the European Central Bank Forum on Central Banking in Sintra in Portugal this week.  Bringing together central bankers, financial market reps and journos not just from the EU but globally,  markets will be watching for hawkish versus dovish tones from central bankers as they discuss this year’s theme Macroeconomic stabilisation in a volatile inflation environment. 



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Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) is on the winners list today after inking a deal to acquire SYNLAB Suisse SA, the Swiss laboratory network of SYNLAB Group for CHF150 million  (~A$250 million).

The purchase follows a strategic decision of the SYNLAB Group to divest its Swiss operations. SHL said SYNLAB Suisse is expected to generate annual revenues of CHF100 million and employs around 600 staff across 19 laboratories.

SYNLAB Suisse SA is one of the few laboratory groups with coverage of all three Swiss language regions and provides services to GP, specialist and hospital clients across the full range of routine and specialty laboratory medicine, including anatomical pathology and human genetics.



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Shares in Medibank Private (ASX:MPL) sank today after the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority directed Australia’s largest health insurer to reserve an extra $250 million in capital and undergo a specialised examination of its technology systems, with a specific emphasis on governance and risk practices.

The action follows the expansion of repercussions resulting from the country’s largest data breach in October 2022. The prudential regulator overseeing the financial industry cited “weaknesses” discovered in MPL’s information security setup as reason for this requirement.