Finance, stocks, shares: ASX edges lower after posting record intraday high

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The sharemarket retreated on Tuesday even as the benchmark briefly hit a record intraday high in the early hours of trading.

At the closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 0.1 per cent, or nine points, to reach 7887.9, after touching an all time high of 7910.5.

Meanwhile, the broader All Ordinaries also lost ground, slipping 0.1 per cent, to 8145.8.

The Australian dollar was flat, trading at US64.91c against the greenback.

Fresh minutes from the Reserve Bank’s March meeting showed its board did not consider a rate hike, marking the first time since it began its aggressive run of rate hikes in May 2022 that it eschewed the option.

EightCap market analyst Zoran Kresovic said while another 25 basis point hike appeared to now be “completely off the table”, markets still remained “jittery” about the timing of interest rate cuts.

“There is a bit of a concern that we might need to see a bit of repricing, especially in equity markets,” Mr Kresovic said.

“While the first rate cut in the US was due to come in June, it’s now getting kicked back a little bit further down the track.

“Now, the concern is the same might happen here with us in Australia.”

On the benchmark, material stocks were the top performers, adding 1.1 per cent as iron ore futures rebounded above $US100 per tonne on the Singapore Exchange on the May contract, with ASX-heavyweight BHP adding 1.9 per cent to $45.13.

Elsewhere in commodities, gold miners finished higher as spot prices for the precious metal traded above $US2270 an ounce.

Northern Star resources rallied 2.9 per cent to $14.88, De Grey Mining added 3.6 per cent to $1.31, and Genesis Minerals jumped 4.3 per cent to $1.94.

Energy stocks also gained 0.6 per cent as oil prices rose on expectations of increased demand from China and the United States, and dampened crude oil supplies due to escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Santos rallied 1.2 per cent to $7.84 and Beach Energy added 1.1 per cent to $1.86.

ASX listed winemakers also extended their gains after Beijing lifted punitive tariffs on the product late last week.

Treasury wine estates added 2.7 per cent to $12.79, while Australian Vintage rose five per cent to 42c.

Meanwhile, real estate stocks were the biggest laggards on the benchmark, dipping one per cent.

Sector heavyweight Goodman Group slipped 1.5 per cent to $33.390 and Lendlease lost 1.1 per cent to $6.36.

In corporate news, shares in uranium miner Paladin Energy jumped 4.8 per cent to $1.44, after it announced it had achieved commercial production at its Heinrich Mine in Namibia of which it owns a 75 per cent stake.

Mesoblast vaulted a further 71.2 per cent to 95c, as investors piled into the stock after it received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to resubmit its application for a novel treatment for pediatric patients with steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease.

Glass bottle manufacturer Orora dived 14.7 per cent to $2.32 — their lowest since January 2016.

On Tuesday, the firm pared back its FY24 earnings forecast to between $307m and $317m, compared with $320.5m in FY23.

Shares in Austal added 10.5 per cent to $2.43, its best day since July 2023 after it rejected a takeover bid worth in excess of $1bn from rival South Korean shipbuilder Hanwha Ocean.

Dairy goods producer Synlait Milk slipped 1.5 per cent to 67c after it forecast lower earnings for the year.

Amid increased operating costs and reduced consumer demand, the firm has commenced a strategic review of its assets located on New Zealand’s North Island.