The laggards

The energy sector tumbled 1.9 per cent, dragged lower by sharp losses in index heavyweights Woodside (down 2 per cent) and Santos (down 1.6 per cent). Whitehaven Coal, which tumbled 3.3 per cent, was among the worst performing mega-cap stocks.

The healthcare sector slid 1.6 per cent after shares in sleep apnoea device manufacturer ResMed slumped 13.2 per cent following reports of a weight-loss drug trial in the US that resurfaced doubts about the company’s key market.

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly said its weight-loss therapy tirzepatide reduced obstructive sleep apnoea severity in trial patients. The company said a decision by the US Food and Drug Administration on a potential label expansion for tirzepatide against sleep apnoea was expected later this year.

Obesity could be an underlying cause of sleep apnoea and weight-loss drugs could reduce the number of patients needing ResMed’s CPAP sleep apnoea treatment.

ResMed was the worst hit mega-cap stock.

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Evolution Mining shares were also down 5 per cent and QBE Insurance was down 2.7 per cent.

Shares in online luxury retailer Cettire plunged almost 50 per cent after the company revealed a profit downgrade after being hit by a sales downturn.

Shares in embattled Star Entertainment tumbled 4 per cent after the company told the ASX that high rollers continued to avoid its three casinos, and the costs associated with its regulatory compliance were eroding its earnings.

The lowdown

eToro market analyst Josh Gilbert said inflation continues to be a “difficult beast to tame”, as economists expect the consumer price indicator for May – to be released on Wednesday – to increase to 3.8 per cent, from 3.6 per cent in April.

“Optimism from earlier in the year that inflation was gradually coming under control has waned and globally, central banks have tempered expectations of multiple rate cuts before year’s end,” Gilbert said.

“Strong population growth, along with high rents and the high cost of food and essential goods continue to be often-cited reasons [consumer] spending is staying high. Australia’s unemployment rate has stayed at around 4 per cent, which has helped to assuage fears of an [interest-rate] hike.”

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 Index slipped 0.2 per cent on Friday, but still remained close to its record high and capped its eighth winning week in the past nine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up less than 0.1 per cent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.2 per cent.

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Nvidia shares again dragged on the market, falling 3.2 per cent. The company’s stock has soared more than 1000 per cent since October 2022 on frenzied demand for its chips, which are powering much of the world’s move into artificial intelligence technology.

In the bond market, US Treasury yields initially fell after a report suggested business activity among countries that use the euro currency is weaker than economists expected.

But yields recovered much of those losses after another report said that US business activity may be stronger than thought.

Quote of the day

“I can only talk about the role that I saw [nuclear] play as the NSW energy minister in 2019 … I was told the first day on the job that in the next decade … coal-fired power stations would come to an end and we needed a mechanism to replace that capacity. We looked at all options, including nuclear,” said incoming Climate Change Authority chair Matt Kean on Monday when asked if he believed nuclear power played a role in a net-zero emissions future.

“The advice that I received at the time which was most compelling was from the chief scientist of NSW, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, and he is one of the few people in the country who has run a nuclear program … his advice to me was to bring nuclear into the system, it would take far too long and would be far too expensive for NSW.”

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