•  Commodities drive local shares down on China’s growth concerns
  • Energy, Mining sectors were down more than 4% today 

 

Volatility in commodity prices dragged the ASX much lower today, with commodity related stocks falling heavily.

At the close, the benchmark ASX 200 was 2% lower, as Mining and Energy sectors plunged by more than 4% each.

Prices in commodities like iron ore and crude oil have been under pressure in the last few days as the market assessed the impact of China’s lockdowns on global demand.

After a rising death toll in Shanghai, the Chinese government has now expanded its Covid-19 testing to all of Beijing’s 22 million residents.

The price of iron ore plunged to as low as US$139 yesterday, before rallying back to US$149 a tonne.

Brent crude meanwhile, has lost most of its gains since Russia first invaded Ukraine in February, and is now trading at US$103 a barrel after falling briefly below US$100 overnight.

Local investors were also kept busy today with the release of the quarterly earnings reports. All eyes will be on the RBA meeting to be held in early May, where the market is expecting a rate hike signal by the central bank.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Pushpay (ASX:PPH) rallied 23% after announcing that it has recently received unsolicited, non-binding and conditional expressions of interest from third parties looking to acquire the company. No other details were released.

Vulcan Steel (ASX:VSL)’s overall revenue was up 34% year-on-year for the 9 months to 31 March 2022, to approximately NZ$700 million. Vulcan has also upgraded its previous FY22 earnings forecasts to NZ$236-242m (previously NZ$194-204m).

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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EML Payments (ASX:EML) plunged 38% after downgrading its net profit forecast by 7%. The company said elevated costs and fewer new customers as being the main reasons for the downgrade.

Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) reported its lowest quarter of production since 2018 of 5.2 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), down 12% on the prior corresponding period. This was despite the company posting a 15% jump in earnings.