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ASX closes 0.1% lower following drop in retail sales

The ASX closed lower on Thursday, primarily due to a decline in consumer stocks following an unexpected drop in monthly retail sales figures. The S&P/ASX 200 index decreased by 0.1%, or 5.5 points, settling at 7024.8 by the end of the trading session. Among the 11 industry sectors, eight recorded losses. Consumer stocks were particularly affected by the disappointing Australian retail sales data for August, which showed a slowdown in retail activity to 0.2% from July’s 0.5% increase. This data reinforced expectations that the Reserve Bank would maintain the cash rate in its upcoming meeting.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 22 points.

The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 6.75 points.

The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 24.25 points.

The SPI futures are down 12 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Energy, up 2.96 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, down 1.18 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), closing 6.06 per cent higher at $7.35. It was followed by shares in ResMed (ASX:RMD) and Karoon Energy (ASX:KAR).

The worst-performing large cap was Brickworks (ASX:BKW), closing 6.42 per cent lower at $24.07. It was followed by shares in Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company (ASX:SOL) and West African Resources (ASX:WAF).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.54 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.18 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.22 per cent.

Company news

Clean lithium developer Lake Resources (ASX: LKE; OTC: LLKKF) confirms that Lilac Technologies’ direct extraction technology has been proven successful through extensive field testing at the flagship Kachi project in Argentina. In response, Lake CEO David Dickson said, “this is a key milestone for DFS preparation for Phase 1 of the Kachi project and a major derisking of the Kachi project.” Shares closed 9.4 per cent higher at 17.5 cents.

Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) has announced solid PEA results at the Company’s 100% owned Colina Lithium Project located in Brazil. The company reported an after-tax NPV of A$3.6 billion, IRR of 132% and a total life of mine revenue of A$12.6 billion. Shares closed 11.5 per cent lower at 23 cents.

Noble Helium (ASX:NHE) reports that rig-up of Marriott Rig #16 is approaching the final stages at the Company’s North Rukwa Helium Project in Tanzania. In response, Noble Helium CEO and Co-Founder, Mr Justyn Wood, said: “We are applying over 20 years of very successful exploration experience throughout the East African Rift system to pinpoint locations for its accumulation in the subsurface – it is coming together and we are extremely confident.” Shares closed 10.8 per cent higher at 20.5 cents.

Lithium Universe (ASX:LU7) announced that Primero Group has been appointed as the Concentrator Engineering Study Manager in relation to the design of a multi-purpose standalone concentrator. In response, Mr Iggy Tan, the Chairman of LU7 stated, “The design of the QLPH concentrator will be closely directed and supervised by the LU7 team of lithium experts. We know what we want to design and build, Primero will be executing our very specific plans.” Shares closed 1.92 per cent higher at 5 cents. 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,892.70 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.8 per cent higher at US$118.30 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.47 per cent rise.

Light crude is trading $0.73 higher at US$94.41 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 63.73 US cents.

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