The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) ended flat on Thursday, but lithium stock selling returned once again, with the Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX:PLS) share price, Liontown Resources Ltd. (ASX: LTR) share price and Lake Resources Ltd. (ASX: LKE) share price pushing the commodities sector to a 1.5% loss.
LKE share price drops 15%
With the energy sector falling 2.1%, lithium is now officially in a bear market. These are the only two sectors to post a loss on Thursday.
The real estate sector stood out, gaining 2.6%, with healthcare not far behind posting another positive day, up 2%, behind a 2.2% improvement in CSL Limited (ASX:CSL). The trigger seems to be an increasingly conservative tone of the RBA suggesting that the currently expected rate hikes may never fully materialize. Interest rates are a key input into real estate valuations, hence the support for the real estate sector with century (ASX: CIP) gaining 4.2% and Goodman Group (ASX: GMG) up 4.9%. Growth point (ASX:GOZ) ended up 3% after management guided a slight improvement in revenue and earnings on the back of more positive revaluations of their portfolio.
Lake sell pressure, Pilbara delivers, PayGroup takeover bid
In the ASX 200, the lithium sector appears to be caught up in fears that higher interest rates and the threat of a recession will lead to lower demand for cars, and therefore batteries. Among the biggest detractors of recent weeks is Lake resources Where LKE which fell more than 50% in the few weeks since it was added to the S&P/ASX200 index.
It seems that the CEO of LKE, who quit unexpectedly, gave up the 10 million shares he owned. On the positive side, Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX:PLS) reported that another shipment of 5,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate was sold at a price of US$7,017 per tonne, representing a 30% premium to current prices in China.
Shares in AGL (ASX:AGL) fell 1.3% after management confirmed the timing of their strategic review with final delivery expected in September this year as they seek to move on from the failed spin-off. Meanwhile, minnow ASX PayGroup ltd (ASX:PYG) shares gained more than 155% after receiving a takeover bid from a global player deel.
Netflix launches ads
The US equity market is benefiting from a more dovish tone from the US Federal Reserve, which has highlighted the challenges of reducing inflation without sending the economy into recession.
One of those bad news looks like good news spells with unemployment benefits down just 2,000 and the private sector seeing a sharp slowdown in growth as rising prices hit demand. The services sector also fell to its lowest level in five months, with a PMI of 51.6.
netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) was slightly higher after management finally confirmed it would release an ad-supported version at a lower price, while walmart (NYSE:WMT) gained more than 2% in a broader rally for the commodities sector. Walmart has confirmed that it is rolling out medical coverage for women. western oil society (NYSE: OXY) the stock fell slightly, hit by weaker oil prices, despite warren buffet confirming that he had increased his stake in the company.