The local sharemarket finished the first session of the week in positive territory and lifted for the first time in four days, with the ASX 200 climbing by 23.5 points or 0.34 per cent, to 6852.4. Energy and Mining stocks did most of the heavy lifting, after climbing by 4 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively. Despite starting on a flat note, Financials edged 0.4 per cent lower, with the Big 4 banks all losing ground. The Telco sector fell by the most, losing 0.9 per cent.
Oil stocks had their best day since mid-June after the sector rose by 4 per cent. This comes ahead of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) convening tonight to set production levels for October. Oil output quotas for October are expected to remain unchanged, despite Saudi Arabia flagging the possibility of a reduction. Shares of Woodside (WDS), Santos (STO) and Beach Energy (BPT) rallied by 4.25 per cent, 3.1 per cent, and 5.2 per cent, respectively.
Coal miners, Coronado Global Resources (CRN) and Whitehaven Coal (WHC) (reached a record high of $8.59), were
amongst the best performers today, rising by 7.45 per cent and 6.5 per cent, respectively. Thermal coal prices have risen for the past three days.
Fortescue Metals (FMG), the Aussie market’s second biggest mining company, fell 4.6 per cent today – its fourth straight decline. This comes after the iron ore miner traded ex-dividend. Its decrease however was more than offset by gains in other miners, particularly BHP Group (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO), both of which rose by 3.2 per cent and 1.75 per cent. The Materials sector lifted by 1.9 per cent.
In economic news, data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries showed that vehicle sales in August rose by 17.3 per cent over the year, to 95,256 vehicles. This marks the largest number of vehicle sold in August in over five years.
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Recently released data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that company operating profits and sales over the June quarter rose by 28.5 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively. ANZ job ads also rose by 2 per cent to a 14-year high of 242,301 positions.
Tomorrow, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will hand down its interest rate decision. If market expectations of a 50 basis point rate hike (to 2.35 per cent) eventuate, this would make it the RBA’s fourth straight 50-basis point rate hike.
3.6bn shares were traded, worth $5.8bn. 589 stocks rose, 832 fell & 392 finished unchanged.
In the US tonight, financial markets are closed in observance of Labor Day.
Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author), CommSec