The Australian sharemarket again took a more positive course than US sharemarkets on Friday, supported by optimism on a reopening of the Chinese economy. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose by 17 points or 0.2% to 9-month highs. The ASX 200 rose 1.7% over the week to be up 5.9% in January.

In overseas markets on Thursday, key indexes in the US were weaker with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 both down 0.8% with the Nasdaq weaker by 1.0%. And the European FTSEurofirst300 index fell by 1.5%.

In Australia on Friday seven of 12 industry sectors posted gains. Energy rose by 1.4% but Telecom Services fell 0.9%.
Whitehaven Coal (WHC) was amongst companies releasing quarterly activities reports. WHC said it was “on track to deliver within the range of our overall production, sales and cost guidance for the 2023 financial year, as issued on 9 November 2022.” Shares in WHC rose by 6.2%.

Perpetual (PPT), Nitro Software (NTO), Hannans (HNR), Mirramar (M2R), Madpaws (MPA) all provided business updates. Shares in MPA rose by 10% with HNR up 5.9%.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH) provided revenue guidance. FPH said it “expects full year operating revenue for the 2023 financial year to be within the range of approximately $1.55 billion to $1.60 billion.” Further FPH doesn’t expect to materially change the gross margin guidance given in November 2022. Shares in FPH rose by 4.9%.


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City Chic Collective (CCX) expects revenue for the first half of the 2023 year to be down 8% to $168.6 million in response to “volatile demand”. Shares in CCX fell 7.7%.

The Australian has reported that Woolworths (WOW) has decided to close the majority of its 300 in-store supermarket butcheries. Shares in WOW fell 0.5%.

On Friday, 3.0 billion shares were traded, worth $9.2 billion. Overall 681 stocks rose over the session, while 618 fell and 454 finished unchanged.

In the US on Friday, existing home sales figures are due. Federal Reserve Governor Chris Waller and Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker are scheduled to speak. Oil services giant SLB issues earnings.

Originally published by Craig James – Chief Economist (Author), CommSec