Most Asian stocks were in the red on Monday. Australia’s ASX 200 index edged slightly higher after the release of better-than-expected retail sales. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index recorded the largest losses after the release of the country’s services PMI for June. Hang Seng index as well as mainland Chinese stocks also declined.
Australia Inflation Concerns
ASX 200 index inched higher after strong retail sales data for May. The retail sales rose 0.4% MoM from 0.1% surpassing its estimate forecast of 0.1%.
Food retailing was up 1.1% to $141.4 million in May. Supermarket and grocery store sales increased 1.9% to $188.8 million. However, liquor retailing slipped 2.0% while other specialized food retailing took a 2.5% nosedive.
Household goods retailing slipped 1.1% to $59.8 million in May. Clothing, footwear, and personal accessory retailing was on a standstill from the previous month. Department stores declined 0.7% in the same month. Cafes and restaurant services were up 0.7%.
Australian building approvals for May slipped 7.1% MoM. This was weaker than the estimated forecast of a 5.0% decline and the previous 5.7% fall in April. Private sector houses slipped 10.3% to 13,751 after hitting records high in April.
Private sector dwellings excluding houses increased 1.2% in May, driven by a rise in apartment approvals in Western Australia. Dwelling approvals in Queensland recorded the biggest dive. Approvals for private sector houses fell across all mainland states.
The value of total building rose 4.5% in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of total residential building inched 6.7% lower while the value of new residential building declined 5.8%. The value of non-residential building spiked 28.5% following a 38.5% nosedive in April. It was boosted by a large rise in public sector projects approved in May.
All eyes are now on the RBA interest rate decision for July later in the week. Investors are hoping to get clues on whether the Reserve Bank of Australia will give indications on increasing its monetary policies before 2024.
ASX 200 Performers
Sydney Airport was the best performer in the ASX 200 index. The firm gained 32.62% in its stock earnings. Sydney airport received a $17 billion takeover bid in rebound bet.
Chalice Mining limited gained 10.97% in its stock price. The company confirmed its continuation of mineralization in the drilling program at the Julimar project.
Nuix Limited led the laggards in the index. The Sydney police executed a search at the firm’s office in Sydney after insider trading allegations.