S&P/ASX 200 falls 0.92% as Australia’s population growth hits 13½-year low

The big four banks lost about 1% each while a fall in iron ore futures weighed on miners.

Fortescue Metals Group - S&P/ASX 200 falls 0.92% as Australia’s population growth hits 13½-year low
May jobs data also disappointed as it missed economist expectations by some margin

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) halted its two-day run of gains with a 55 point or 0.92% fall to 5,936.5.

While most sectors ended in the red, mining, retailing and communication stocks fell most. Only the utilities sector gained.

Airliners struggled with Qantas (ASX:QAN) down 3.7% as Australia’s national carrier will cancel most international flight until October.

Major miners declined with Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) falling 4.24% and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX:NST) losing 1.96%.

Population growth rate eases

Australia’s population increased by 349,833 people during calendar 2019 to 25,522,169 people.

Overall, Australia’s annual population growth rate eased from 1.43% to 1.39% - the slowest pace in 13½ years.

Western Australia was an exception with mining activity luring more Aussies and overseas migrants to the region, helping the state post its strongest annual population growth rate in 5½ years.

Top gainers

It was another great day for Afterpay (ASX:APT) hitting record highs for the third day in a row.

Other top gainers on the ASX include 9 Spokes International Ltd (ASX:9SP) (+27.27%), Volt Resources Ltd (ASX:VRC) (+5.26%), Ioneer Ltd (ASX:INR) (+5.00%) and Platina Resources Limited (ASX:PGM) (+4.35%).

Proactive news headlines:

PolarX prepares for Zackly East drilling following strongly supported $3.76 million placement

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Macarthur Minerals updating Lake Giles magnetite resource ahead of feasibility study

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Emperor Energy engages AGR to plan and design exploration well in Judith Gas Field offshore Victoria

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Salt Lake Potash CEO and chairman participate in $20 million placement following shareholder approval

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Infinity Lithium doubles on key European partnership and investment deal

Infinity Lithium Corporation Ltd (ASX:INF) (FRA:3PM) has further strengthened its European lithium supply strategy by executing binding agreements for a multi-staged funding and added services assistance package with European Union-based innovation initiative KIC InnoEnergy SE. Shares doubled to A$0.14 on the news which sees INF’s San José project in Spain become the first lithium project to secure European funding from EIT InnoEnergy, a recently launched platform created by the European Battery Alliance (EBA).

archTIS secures first commercial Defence Industry contract with Northrop Grumman

archTIS Ltd (ASX:AR9) has secured its first Defence Industry commercial contract with Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) to purchase an initial 50 licences of AR9’s Kojensi cloud platform to securely share information for its business development teams. This contract with the global US$53 billion Military System Integrator (MSI) has initial annual recurring revenue of $35,455 and demonstrates Kojensi’s diverse market sector application.

TNT Mines investigates dual US listing following increased investor interest

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Kazia Therapeutics sees 2020 as crucial inflection point for oncology programs

Kazia Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: KZA) is expecting multiple value-driving data read-outs from its clinical trials in 2020 and believes these may provide “high potential” for partnering with a big pharma. The company has six ongoing clinical trials across two of its assets – paxalisib (formerly GDC-0084) in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive form of primary brain cancer in adults, and Cantrixil for ovarian cancer. Paxalisib is expected to transition to a pivotal study in the second half of 2020.

eSense-Lab teams with Wise Winery to produce ethanol sanitisers infused with terpenes

eSense-Lab Ltd (ASX:ESE) has entered into a joint venture with Sassey Pty Ltd (the owner of Wise Winery), a family-owned wine company based in Eagle Bay in the northern Margaret River Wine region. In response to a nationwide short supply of ethanol-based sanitisers, Wise recently started producing surface and hand sanitiser products using ethanol distilled from its own Chardonnay wine at its Eagle Bay distillery.

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