The Aussie sharemarket finished near session lows, with the ASX 200 closing 106.2 points or 1.6 per cent lower, to 6700.2. Materials was the main weight after the sector recorded a 2.6 per cent decline. Major miners like Fortescue Metals (FMG), Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP Group (BHP) lost at least 3.1 per cent and together accounted for around one-third of today’s losses. The broader financial sector posted its biggest decline in around a week after retreating by 1.2 per cent. The Big 4 banks all finished in negative territory and averaged a 1.1 per cent decline.
Washington Soul Pattinson (SOL) released its annual results. It doubled its regular profit after tax to $834.6 million, and increased its net asset value (pre-tax) by 71.6 per cent to $9.96 billion. The investment manager also declared a final dividend of 43 cents pershare, which is 19.4 per cent higher than the final dividend it declared a year earlier. It also declared an additional special dividend of 15 cents-per-share. SOL was the best performer on the market today, after its shares rose by 5 per cent.
Viva Energy (VEA) has announced plans to acquire Coles Express, for $300 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second half of FY23, after which VEA will ‘own and operate the 710 Coles Express sites’. However, the acquisition is still subject to approval from both the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, and the Foreign Investment Review Board. VEA shares rose by 4.6 per cent and was the second-best performer in the market today.
Building products manufacturer Brickworks (BKW) released its annual results. Its revenues rose by 28 per cent to $1.1 billion, and it more than doubled its underlying profit to $736 million. It also increased its final dividend by 3 per cent to 41 cents-per-share, and ended the fiscal year with a net debt balance of $493 million. BKW shares rose modestly by 0.4 per cent, a moderation from yesterday’s 5.8 per cent rally.
In a trading update this morning, Air New Zealand (AIZ) confirms that it has ‘continued to see strong forward sales over the first 3 months of the financial year’. It expects earnings before tax & other significant items for 1HFY23 to be between $200 million – $275
million, provided that the current trend of sales continues and an average fuel price of US$130/bbl remains. AIZ shares rose by 8.4 per cent.
Top Australian Brokers
Tomorrow, the Australian sharemarket will be closed due to the public holiday.
At 4:00am AEST tomorrow, the US Federal Reserve will hand down its interest rate decision. Currently, markets are pricing in an 83 per cent chance of a 75 basis point rate hike, and a 17 per cent chance of a 100 basis point hike, largely driven by the hotter-thanexpected inflation update released last week in the US
Today, 3.6bn shares were traded, worth $6.6bn. 392 stocks rose, 942 fell & 409 finished unchanged.
Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author), CommSec