The Aussie market finished the session in negative territory, recording its worst performance in a month. The market has been weighed by US stocks falling for 4 consecutive days, on rising recession concerns. The ASX 200 fell 0.9 per cent or 61.9 points lower to 7229.4, with 10 (of 11) sectors losing ground. Technology was the worst performing sector while the energy sector weighed the most, off the back of falling oil prices. Materials was the only sector to make gains, driven largely by a rise in iron ore futures overnight. Iron ore producer Fortescue Metals (FMG) rose 2.3 per cent. Coal miner Coronado Global Resources (CRN) extended to a second day of gains to be the top performer adding 3.0 per cent.
In economic news, Australia’s economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), expanded 0.6 per cent in the September quarter, compared with 0.9 per cent in the previous quarter, and forecasts for 0.7 per cent. Soaring inflation and rising interest rates slowed demand, but annual GDP growth was a still-strong 5.9 per cent after the economy re-opened from pandemic lockdowns a year ago. The household savings ratio fell from 8.3 per cent to 6.9 per cent in the September quarter with household consumption slowing to a 1.1 per cent growth rate in the quarter. An early sign that consumers are beginning to tighten their belts following rapid rate hikes.
In company news, Santos (STO) announced a further US $350 million increase to its on-market share buy back. The company announced this is in addition to the US $350 million already proclaimed in August of this year. The US $700 million total share buy backs purpose is to ‘enable Santos to balance the allocation of capital’. Despite the announcement STO shares shed 1.1 per cent off the back of a wider sell off in the energy sector.
Oil explorer, Strike Energy (STX) rose 7.4 per cent after announcing a share purchase agreement which increases its
ownership of Warrego Energy (WGO) to 19.9 per cent. This makes STX the largest shareholder of WGO. WGO is currently a takeover target by Beach Energy (BPT) and Hancock Energy. WGO closed 3.2 per cent lower while BPT was the worst performer of the day dropping 9.9 per cent.
Casino operator, Sky City Entertainment (SKC) fell 2.7 per cent after announcing AUSTRAC will commence ‘civil penalty procedures’ against SKC. The company announced this is in relation to alleged contraventions of SKC’s obligations under ‘antimoney laundering and counter terrorism’ laws.
Top Australian Brokers
Ahead: In the US, unit labour costs, nonfarm productivity, consumer credit and weekly mortgage application data is released.
Today, 3.4bn shares were traded, worth $8.8bn. 470 stocks rose, 841 fell & 438 finished unchanged
Originally published by CommSec