• The ASX closes flat today
  • Australia’s trade surplus has hit a new record high
  • Tech shines, while Energy flops

 

The ASX traded sideways on Thursday, finishing the day marginally higher by 0.03%.

Overnight, Wall Street rallied after a steady dose of impressive earnings and economic data.

Fresh figures from the ABS today showed that Australia’s trade surplus has hit a new record high, mostly driven by strong prices across our key exports.

The surplus rose to $17.7 billion in June, surpassing economists’ estimate of $14 billion, according to the ABS. The record numbers could potentially be a boost to our GDP growth, which posted a disappointing 0.8% in the last quarter.

On the ASX, the Tech sector was the clear leader today, up by 2% and tracking Nasdaq’s move overnight. The sector is at a 3-month high right now, having risen by 16% over the past 30 days. As a comparison, Nasdaq is up by 11% in the last 30 days.

Energy stocks underperformed, following a 4% slump in oil prices overnight.

This comes after a US inventory report show that summer gasoline consumption has fallen to below pandemic levels.

Following that report, members of Opec+, which includes Russia, agreed last night to add just 100,000 more barrels per day to the market in September.

“It looks like OPEC+ is resisting calls to boost output because the crude demand outlook continues to get slashed.  The world is battling the ongoing global energy crisis and it won’t be getting any help from OPEC+,” commented Oanda analyst, Edward Moya.

Looking ahead to Wall Street tonight, the US balance of trade for June will be released, along with job cuts figures for July.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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REA Group (ASX:REA) was among the best performing large caps today, up 3% on no news.

Seek (ASX:SEK) and Carsales (ASX:CAR) were also marketplace platforms that rose today on no specific news.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Orica (ASX:ORI) was the worst performing large cap today, down by 10% as the company completed a $650 million fully underwritten placement of approximately 40.6 million new fully paid ordinary shares at $16 a share.

Qantas (ASX:QAN) fell 1% as after a broker downgrade by Citi, lowering its target price for QAN by 20%.