The Australian share market started the week off on a negative note, with the ASX 200 falling 0.5 per cent or 32.4 points lower to 7180.8. Seven (of 11) sectors lost ground. Utilities was the worst performing sector, partly driven by the federal government’s proposed legislation to regulate the gas and coal prices. Origin Energy (ORG) fell 7.8, to be among the worst performers, partly due to the concerns of the impact from the proposed legislation on its takeover from Brookfield Asset Management. Miners also weighed heavily on the index with BHP Group (BHP) dropping 1.5
per cent. In contrast, energy was the best performing sector despite falls in oil and coal prices overnight, with oil and gas producer Woodside Energy (WDS) snapping three days of losses to close 2.7 per cent higher.

In company news, Westpac (WBC) announced it has ended discussions to acquire payment solutions provider Tyro Payments (TYR). This was publicized after the board’s decision that, ‘submitting an offer is not in the best interests of Westpac shareholders’. Similarly, TYR announced a ceasing of discussions with both WBC and Potentia Capital Management in regards to a potential acquisition, as the discussions, ‘did not result in a proposal that the board believed fairly values Tyro’. WBC edged 0.3 per cent lower while TYR closed 19.5 per cent lower to be the worst performer of the All Ords Index.

Gold producers St Barbara (SBM) and Genesis Minerals (GMD) announced an agreement to merge to form Hoover House Ltd. SBM will acquire 100% of the shares in Genesis via a scheme of arrangement. The merger is to unlock synergies for both companies and ‘focus exclusively on the Leonora district’. It also involves SBM ‘undertaking a demerger… [of] other non-Leonora assets to St Barbara shareholders’ to form Phoenician Metals. Both companies are on a trading halt pending the completion of the merger.

RIO Tinto (RIO) announced it has received the required support from Turqoise Hill Resources shareholders for its proposed acquisition of the 49 per cent of shares it doesn’t currently own. RIO needs final approval form the Supreme Court of Yukon in Canada to commence the acquisition. RIO edged 0.7 per cent lower to outperform other major miners.

Ahead: In Australia this week, NAB (NAB), ANZ (ANZ) and Macquarie Group (MQG) will pay eligible investors $6 billion in dividends. In the US, Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers are released on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the US Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) will hand down its interest rate decision.


Top Australian Brokers


Today, 3bn shares were traded, worth $6.3bn. 499 stocks rose, 856 fell & 408 finished unchanged.

Originally published by CommSec