Market Envelope: Blue-chip behemoths offset terrible ASX session for lithium and tech companies

Gains for iron ore giants and big banks proved just enough to offset a skyrocketing lithium selloff that wiped out around 20% of Pilbara Minerals, Liontown Resources and Core Lithium.

The benchmark ASX 200 index drifted 22.8 points or 0.3 higher, to close at 7234.0, with blue chip behemoths such as Commonwealth Bank, BHP, Fortescue Metals, Transurban and Telstra making a turn solid.

But it was also a day in which more local businesses finished bottom rather than top, including large swaths of the tech and healthcare sectors, as well as gold mining.

Demonstrating the very heavy nature of the day was a more subdued performance from the All Ordinaries, which gained just 7.7 points or 0.1%, to 7462.9.

The Australian dollar, meanwhile, lost some ground against the greenback and was worth 71.70 US cents at the local close.

Wednesday’s wildest losses were limited to lithium players.

Camera iconThe benchmark ASX 200 index drifted 22.8 points or 0.3 higher to close at 7234.0, not thanks to lithium, technology and gold stocks. Credit: News Corp Australia

Investors threw away everything related to battery metals after global investment bank Goldman Sachs warned that the bull market of the past 18 months was coming to an end.

The bank said that while lithium, cobalt and nickel will continue to play a key role in decarbonization, those betting on the green revolution may have gone too far, too soon.

The decision by Argentine Customs – a major lithium producer – to set a benchmark price of US$53 on exports added to the lithium drop, essentially an attempt to crack down on any scams that would hurt tax revenue and dollar sales. .

In response, Pilbara Minerals fell 22% to $2.30, Liontown Resources fell 19.1% to $1.145 and Core Lithium ended down 20.4% to $1.11.

Mineral Resources were also caught in the carnage, which fell 8.1% to $58.70, while Piedmont Lithium lost 8% to 86 cents, Lake Resources fell 12.9% to 1.35 $, Allkem lost 15.4% to $11.60, Vulcan Energy fell 8.2%. percent at $7.52 and IGO 11.7 percent lower at $11.16.

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Camera iconMore local businesses finished lower than higher on Wednesday, including large swaths of the tech and healthcare sectors, as well as gold mining. NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles Credit: News Corp Australia

Technology was also under pressure again as inflation and interest rate jitters resurfaced.

Block Inc fell another 4.3% to $120.55 to continue a volatile week, while rival payments company Zip Co fell 8.7% to 83.5 cents.

Xero fell 2.2% to $87.36 and Wisetech Global fell 0.9% to $41.7 and Megaport lost a further 4.9% to close at $6.95.

Novinix – which straddles the divide between materials and battery technology – fell 12.7% to $3.57.

Wall Street’s lead was shaky following the Memorial Day break, while OANDA senior analyst Jeffrey Halley said wake-up manufacturing data from across Asia-Pacific also lagged. In the region.

“Asian markets are trading in a negative tone today, with the end of virus restrictions in Shanghai today having little to no positive impact,” Halley said.

“This is mainly due to the day’s flip-flop in US markets, which reopened overnight.

“New York decided overnight to be nervous about further Fed tightening, after rejecting it last week. Tomorrow they might decide that’s no longer an issue. ; who knows?”

Supporting sentiment on Wednesday was a rise in US futures and a robust first-quarter Australian GDP print.

Commonwealth Bank was the strongest lender, jumping 2.3% to $106.71, while Macquarie Group rose 1.3% to $188.38.

There were gains for Woolworths, Wesfarmers, Coles, Transurban, CSL and Telstra and iron ore miners were also strong.

BHP added 2.3% to $45.65, Rio Tinto climbed 0.4% to $114.91 and Fortescue Metals rose 3.2% to $20.76.

The same could not be said for gold diggers, with Newcrest losing 2.7% to $24.37, Northern Star down 2.6% to $8.72 and Evolution 3.9% down to 3 $.69.

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