The Aussie sharemarket closed higher for a second straight session, with the ASX 200 rising 0.6 per cent or 41.2 points to 6933.7. Eight (of 11) sectors finished higher. Mining and energy sectors contributed the most. Gold miners were among the best performers. BHP Group (BHP) and Fortescue Metals (FMG) added 5 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively. The financial sector lost 1.4 per cent, weighed by Westpac Banking (WBC) which released its earnings, while Macquarie Group (MQG) and ANZ traded ex-dividend. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) was the only major bank to edge higher.
Westpac Banking (WBC) lost 3.9 per cent after releasing FY22 results. Cash earnings fell 1 per cent to $5,267 million due to a ‘substantial increase in impairment charges’ while expenses fell 7 per cent. WBC’s Net Interest Margin increased by 5 basis points to 1.9 per cent between 1H22 and 2H22, but fell 17 basis points from FY21. It noted ‘headwinds on margin’ due to ‘competition and higher wholesale funding costs’ as a 1H23 results consideration.
A 64 cent dividend was declared, trading ex-dividend on 17 November and payment to be made on 20 December.
Coronado Resources (CRN) was the worst performer of the ASX 200, falling 7.1 per cent upon announcing that ‘it has jointly agreed’ to end potential merger discussions with NYSE-listed Peabody Energy Corporation.
Suncorp Group (SUN) released its estimates of natural hazard costs occurring over the period of 1 July 2022 to 31 October 2022. ‘Net estimated costs’ are between $470 million to $530 million in claims following five natural hazards in Australia and New Zealand. SUN finished 0.4 per cent lower.
Medibank Private (MPL) provided an update on its recent cybercrime incident where ‘around 9.7 million current and former customers’ were impacted by a data breach. MPL advised ‘no ransom payment will be made to the criminal’. The insurer closed 0.4 per cent higher.
Top Australian Brokers
The Star Entertainment Group (SGR) shed 2 per cent upon being served with a statement of claim for a securities class action. The claim alleges ‘The Star made misleading representations including about its systems and processes for compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing obligations’. SGR noted it intends to defend the proceedings.
Tonight in the US, the consumer credit data for September will be released. As the US earnings season comes to an end; Teradata, TripAdvisor and Unisys are among the companies scheduled to report earnings.
3.2bn shares were traded, worth $7.2bn. 722 stocks rose, 637 fell & 414 finished unchanged.
Originally published by CommSec