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ASX down 0.8% at noon as Australian retail sales fall

Australian retail sales experienced a 0.8% decline last month, as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This result came as a surprise to markets, which had anticipated a steady performance for June following a robust 0.7% gain in May.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.8 per cent lower at 7,396.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 60 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, up 0.62 per cent. The worst-performing sector is REITs, down 2.31 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Pro Medicus (ASX:PME), trading 1.27 per cent higher at $68.80. It is followed by shares in Woodside Energy Group (ASX:WDS) and The Lottery Corporation (ASX:TLC).

The worst-performing large cap is Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), trading 4.79 per cent lower at $3.58. It is followed by shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG).

Asian markets

Asia-Pacific markets largely fell ahead of the Bank of Japan’s rate decision on Friday.

Japan’s central bank is expected to keep its benchmark policy rate unchanged at -0.1%, but investors will be keenly watching for any signs of a shift in stance towards its yield curve control policy.

The Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.29%, while the Topix saw a smaller loss of 0.9%.

South Korea’s markets were more mixed, with the Kospi down 0.46% and the Kosdaq up 1.74%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also fell 0.9%, while the Shanghai Composite was down 0.28% and the Shenzhen Component inched down 0.16%.

Company news

Soft Tissue Sarcoma Immutep (ASX:IMM; NASDAQ:IMMP) announced that the first patient has been dosed in the Chemotherapy-free Combination Phase II Trial Targeting Sarcoma, a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the soft tissues of the body. In response, Immutep CSO, Frédéric Triebe stated, “New information arising from this innovative trial may further broaden the future clinical development of efti and, in the end, bring even greater benefit to patients.” Shares are trading 3.13 per cent lower at 31 cents.

Pointerra (ASX:3DP) has announced that their existing customer Entergy has selected Pointerra’s US EPC partners for its 10-year, US$15 billion grid resilience CAPEX Program. Pointerra’s AI driven analytics platform will be used to identify and prioritise grid assets requiring remediation or replacement across the term of the Program. Shares are trading 73.7 per cent higher at 16.5 cents.

Zeus Resources (ASX:ZEU) announced that it has intersected multiple thick pegmatites at Alpha and Creek prospects, Mortimer Hills Project. As the orientation of the pegmatites is unknown, the true widths of the pegmatites may be less than these apparent widths. Shares are trading flat at 1.4 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1988.70 an ounce.

Iron ore is 2.9 per cent lower at US$113.10 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 2.7 per cent fall.

One Australian dollar is buying 66.84 US cents.