Following a rather weak session on Wall St overnight, the local sharemarket ended the last session of the month on a soft note, with the ASX 200 edging 0.16 per cent or 11.5 points lower, to 6986.8. The mining sector weighed on the market, after falling by 1.4 per cent, driven partly by softer commodity prices overnight. Energy stocks also declined by 2.9 per cent – its worst day this month. Financial stocks rose by 1.1 per cent – the biggest gain in over a month.
Over the month, the Aussie market rose by 0.6 per cent – its second straight monthly gain. The Energy sector climbed by the most since March, rising 7.4 per cent. Mining stocks also posted their first monthly rally since May, adding 3.9 per cent, with stocks such as Lake Resources (LKE), Oz Minerals (OZL), Pilbara (PLS), Liontown Resources (LTR) and Whitehaven Coal (WHC) all amongst the best performing companies this month.
In company news, Webjet (WEB) held its annual general meeting today and announced that all three of its business are profitable so far in the 2023 financial year. It also mentioned that its Webjet Group bookings are currently tracking at around 95 per cent of its pre-pandemic levels. The travel agency said that it expects to exceed pre-pandemic earnings in FY2024. WEB shares advanced by 8 per cent.
PointsBet (PBH) was amongst one of the worst performers today, losing 11.9 per cent, after releasing its annual results. The sportsbetting company posted a 52 per cent increase in its revenues, but a net loss of US$268 million (prev: US$188 million). It sales & marketing expenses has also increased to US$236.8 million, representing 80 per cent of its revenues.
Harvey Norman (HVN) shed 2.3 per cent after the retailer released its annual results. HVN reported a 3.6 per cent slip in its profits to $811.5 million, and a 1.4 per cent decrease in its EBITDA to $1.4 billion. The retailer declared a 17.5 per-share final dividend, which is higher than the 15 cents-per-share final dividend it distributed in November last year.
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In its annual results, St Barbara Minerals (SBM) posted an 8 per cent slip in its revenues to $680 million, and a 67 per cent decline in its EBIT to $37 million. The miner also expects its all-insustaining costs to increase by 13.6 per cent over the next financial year, and its underlying profits to fall by 70 per cent to $24 million.
4.4bn shares were traded, worth $10.4bn. 783 stocks rose, 633 fell & 388 finished unchanged.
In the US tonight, the ADP employment change report is issued with weekly mortgage applications and the Chicago purchasing managers index.
Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author), CommSec