The Australian sharemarket kicked off today’s session on a rather flat note, but managed to improve significantly over the course of the day, with the ASX 200 ending with a gain of 0.3 per cent or 24.1 points to 7325.6. The Materials sector was amongst today’s best performing sectors, driven by a rise in the price of iron ore futures on Friday. Iron ore producer Fortescue Metals (FMG) was the best performer today, rising 6.9 per cent. Other notable miners, Rio Tinto (RIO) and South32 (S32), also rose 3.7 and 3.6 per cent, respectively. In contrast, gold explorer De Grey Mining (DEG) was the worst performer of the day, falling 6.4 per cent.
In company news, Metcash Limited (MTS), the operator of IGA and Supa Valu supermarkets, edged 0.2 per cent higher after announcing its 1HFY23 results. MTS grew both its underlying profits (up 9.1 per cent) and revenues (up 8.2 per cent), and increased its interim dividend by 9.5 per cent to 11.5 cents per share. Despite announcing an improvement in supply chain challenges, the food and staples retailer cautioned investors of the impacts of high inflation that it may face over the next few months.
Oil producer Warrego Energy (WGO) said that Hancock Energy’s revised $0.28 per share takeover bid is ‘superior’ to Beach Energy’s (BPT) rival $0.25 per share offer. WGO also gave BPT, ‘5 business days to match the revised Hancock Takeover Offer’. Both WGO and BPT climbed 11.5 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively.
On the economic front, the Reserve Bank is scheduled to hand down its cash rate announcement tomorrow. Forecasts suggests that the RBA will hike the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.1 per cent. Investors are likely to also pay attention to any interest rate guidance that the RBA provides.
Ahead: In the US, the ISM and S&P Global PMI surveys are released and factory orders data is released.
Top Australian Brokers
Today, 3.3bn shares were traded, worth $6.7bn. 595 stocks rose, 781 fell & 426 finished unchanged.
Originally published by CommSec