AUSTRALIAN STOCKS DO NOTHING: Investors sit tight ahead of Brexit vote

Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed fractionally lower on Wednesday, having traded higher for the vast majority of the session.

Here’s the scoreboard.

  • ASX 200 5270.90 , -3.46 , -0.07%
  • All Ords 5349.50 , -3.75 , -0.07%
  • AUD/USD 0.7466 , 0.0022 , 0.30%
ASX 200 5-Minute Chart

What a bore! That would be the honest assessment of the session, with nothing from a macro perspective to whet the appetite of investors.

Volumes traded was a paltry $3.93 billion, demonstrating a clear lack of investor conviction. The Brexit outcome will be known in less than 48 hours and perhaps that will create some excitement.

The losses were led by consumer staples which gave back 0.9%, marginally outpacing materials which fell by a smaller 0.6%.

On the other side of the ledger, telecommunications and energy put in the strongest performances for the session, gaining 0.5% and 0.3% respectively.

Financials, the largest sector by market weighting, closed with a gain of 0.1%.

Here’s the performance of the top 20 stocks by market weighting.

  • AMP , $5.44 , 0.18%
  • ANZ , $24.40 , 0.62%
  • BHP Billiton , $18.71 , 0.11%
  • Brambles , $12.71 , 0.71%
  • CBA , $75.07 , -0.01%
  • CSL , $108.61 , -0.26%
  • Insurance Australia Group , $5.73 , -0.69%
  • Macquarie , $76.12 , 0.25%
  • NAB , $25.62 , -0.19%
  • QBE Insurance , $11.72 , 0.00%
  • Rio Tinto , $44.58 , 0.84%
  • Scentre , $4.72 , 0.00%
  • Suncorp , $12.26 , 0.08%
  • Transurban , $11.77 , -0.68%
  • Telstra , $5.38 , 0.56%
  • Westpac , $29.67 , -0.03%
  • Wesfamers , $40.34 , -0.64%
  • Westfield Corporation , $10.82 , 0.93%
  • Woolworths , $21.00 , -0.90%

With so many investors on the sidelines before the UK referendum, it’s hard to read much into any of the moves at present, other than markets have clearly adopted the view that a Brexit is now seen as highly unlikely.

In the absence of any clear indication on the likely Brexit outcome, it’s likely to be a similar session on Thursday. Probably a good time to rest up before what will likely be an enormous day on Friday.

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