Following mixed performances for global equities on Friday and ahead of a number of key indicators in the days ahead, the Aussie market struggled to find direction, with the ASX 200 falling 1.6 pts or 0.02 per cent, to 6789.9. Gains in the Materials sector (up 1.1 per cent) and Utility sectors (up 1.1 per cent) were offset by losses in Financials (down 0.1 per cent) & Tech (down 1.5 per cent) stocks. At the close, four sectors and 76 stocks finished higher. Trading volume today was relatively light ahead of Australia’s inflation report released this Wednesday.

In company news, Flight Centre (FLT) climbed 3 per cent and was the fifth best performer today, after upgrading its earnings guidance. The travel agent said it expects to record an underlying EBITDA loss between $180 million – $190 million (FY21: $337.9 million loss). FLT also expects its underlying EBITDA to ‘breakeven’ in 2HFY22, driven by profitability in the fourth quarter. FLT shares are up 1.5 per cent so far this month and are on track to snap two months of losses.

Oz Minerals (OZL) released a quarterly update this morning, highlighting a 9.6 per cent quarterly decrease in its copper production to 27,423 tonnes, and a 4.9 per cent increase in its gold production to 51,184 ounces. OZL also posted a 20.4 per cent increase in its quarterly all-in sustaining costs, to US$2.10 per pound. Its shares finished 3.7 per cent lower and are down 39.8 per cent so far this year.

South32 (S32) released its fourth quarter update. The miner says that its production of alumina and aluminium increased by 3 per cent and 5 per cent over the quarter, to 1,361kt and 255kt, respectively. S32 shares were up by as much as 3.1 per cent earlier, but was up by a more modest 0.85 per cent at the close.

Perpetual (PPT), an investment manager, announced that its ‘total assets-under-management (AUM) decreased by 8 per cent to $90.4 billion, driven by ‘negative market impacts’. PPT also noted a 16 per cent reduction in its Australian AUM to $21.3 billion, and said that it expects its FY22 expense growth to be at the ‘upper end of guidance’. PPT shares fell 3.65 per cent today but are still on track to snap four-straight months of declines.

Nanosonics (NAN) released a business update this morning, outlining that it expects its FY22 revenue to be 17 per cent higher on FY21, at $120.3 million. NAN says that its revenue was partly driven by a ‘substantially completed’ transition to a revised sales model in North America. NAN shares shed 3.65 per cent today but are still on track to post their largest monthly gain since November 2020.

2.7bn shares were traded, worth $5.8bn. 587 stocks rose, 744 fell & 396 finished unchanged.

In the US, S&P Global purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) are due.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author), CommSec