The Aussie sharemarket finished softer for a second straight day but recovered from session lows with the ASX 200 posting a modest loss of 0.07 per cent or 4.7 points to 7,141.6. Seven (of 11) sectors finished in positive territory. The best performing sector, Information technology, lifted 1.7 per cent while health care added 1.4 per cent. Materials weighed with a 1 per cent loss as lithium miners slumped. Core Lithium (CXO), Allkem (AKE) and Pilbara Minerals (PLS) fell 15.8 per cent, 12.4 per cent and 8.7 per cent respectively to be amongst the worst performers. Financials finished modestly higher as gains from Commonwealth Bank (CBA) were offset by losses from National Australia Bank (NAB) which traded ex-dividend.
Commonwealth Bank (CBA) rose 1.3 per cent having provided its September quarter trading update. Unaudited cash NPAT grew 2 per cent to $2.5 billion. Income grew 9 per cent ‘driven by higher margins and volume growth, partly offset by reduced non-interest income’. Expenses increased 4.5 per cent (excluding remediation) due to ‘higher staff costs’.
AGL Energy (AGL) held its AGM where shareholders voted four new directors to the board ‘based on the proxies lodged ahead of the meeting’, despite only one of the four being recommended by the board. AGL finished 1.2 per cent lower.
Incitec Pivot (IPL) closed 5.9 per cent higher after releasing its FY22 results. Revenue climbed 45.2 per cent to $6,315.3 million and NPAT rose 186.4 per cent to $1,027.1 million, from the prior corresponding period, due to higher fertiliser prices. An on-market share buyback of up to $400 million and delay of its fertiliser business demerger was also announced. IPL declared a 17 cent dividend, trading ex-dividend on 5 December and to be paid on 21 December.
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United Malt Group (UMG) lifted 4.5 per cent after releasing its FY22 results. While revenue increased 13.9 per cent to $1,406.7 million, NPAT decreased 20 per cent to $11.6 million. UMG CEO noted ‘United Malt anticipates a material increase in earnings in FY23’ as pricing and barley crop conditions improve, as well as the completion of their Scottish expansion project.
In economic news, China retail sales contracted for the first time since May, dipping 0.5 per cent in October from a year earlier. Industrial production rose 5 per cent from a year ago in October, slowing from September’s 6.3 per cent gain.
In the US tonight, the Empire State index and producer price index are issued with weekly chain store sales. Walmart and Home Depot are scheduled to release earnings. Tomorrow’s economic data scheduled to be released includes Australia’s Wage Price Index (WPI).
Today, 3.4bn shares were traded, worth $8.4bn. 682 stocks rose, 695 fell & 393 finished unchanged.
Published by CommSec