(AUSTRALIA) – In a month marked by the sharemarket’s most significant decline so far, energy stocks emerged as a rare source of positivity.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 57.2 points, or 0.8%, to 7,257.1, following a weak lead from Wall Street. The All Ordinaries also fell by 0.7%.
Amidst the broad sell-off affecting 10 out of 11 sectors, the energy sector stood alone in the green.
This boost came as Q2 gross domestic figures showed the domestic economy expanded by 0.4%, beating expectations of 0.2% from the previous quarter. Annual GDP growth stood at 2.1%, compared to the 2.3% growth in the last quarter.
Energy stocks surged by 1% due to continued gains in oil prices. Brent crude exceeded $90 a barrel, marking the first time since November.
Financial sector drags ASX down
This rise was driven by Saudi Arabia and Russia, two key OPEC+ producers who extended supply cuts to the end of the year.
Woodside Energy, Santos, and Beach Energy all experienced gains, while coal producers like Yancoal and New Hope saw positive movement after New South Wales increased coal royalties by 2.6%.
On the other hand, the financial sector weighed down the ASX, with the big four banks in the red.
Westpac led the decline with a 1.6% drop, and Macquarie Group fell 3.8% following a report of reduced investment-related income from green energy investments.
Elsewhere in the market, Qantas shares rose as Vanessa Hudson took over as group chief executive, while Fortescue Metals and Sayona Mining experienced mixed results.
ResMed shares declined after a downgrade by UBS analysts, and Bottle maker Orora plunged following an equity raise for the buyout of France’s Saverglass.
PointsBet faced a significant drop after a capital return, and TPG Telecom’s negotiations with Vocus Group continued over a fiber assets deal valued at $6.3 billion.
Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe is set to deliver his last public address in the coming days.