The local share market snapped four straight days of gains after the ASX 200 fell by 0.4 per cent or 30.4 points to
7,229.1. Seven (of 11) sectors lost ground. Energy was the worst performing sector, largely due to falls in Woodside
Energy (WDS) and Santos Ltd (STO). This was influenced by oil prices retreating to its lowest levels since 2021 as
surging COVID 19 cases as well as reports of unrest in China, has weakened outlook for demand. Despite energy
sector faring the worst, coal miners improved with New Hope Corporation (NHC) and Whitehaven Coal (WHC)
rallying 5.4 per cent and 4 per cent respectively to be the best performers of the ASX 200 index. Lithium stocks were
amongst the notable underperformers with, Liontown Resources (LTR) closing 7.5 per cent lower.

Bank of Queensland (BOQ) fell 5.6 per cent after the board announcement of the sudden departure of the CEO,
effective immediately. Chairman Patrick Allaway will act as interim Executive Chairman while a ‘domestic and
international executive search for a new Managing Director and CEO’ is undertaken.

Pilbara Minerals (PLS) and Calix Ltd (CXL) have entered into a joint-venture for the development of a ‘Mid-Stream
Demonstration Plant’ at the Pilgangoora Project. The aim of the partnership is to utilise, ‘Calix’s patented calcination
technology’ to, ‘deliver a superior value-added lithium product’. Pilbara will own 55 per cent of the joint venture.
Despite the news, PLS and CXL both closed with a loss of 0.9 per cent and 3 per cent respectively amid a broader sell
off in the lithium sector.

Personal care products distributor BWX Ltd (BWX) has continued its 3 month long trading halt and announced the
resignation of its CFO as well as further delays to release of its FY22 audited financial accounts.

Health care company Healius (HLS) fell 10.1 per cent to be the worst performer of the day. This was off the back of a
trading update it provided to the market noting a 31.5 per cent fall in total revenue during the four months to October 2022, led by ‘an industry-wide drop in COVID 19 PCR testing’. However, Healius noted Business as usual
revenues prior to COVID 19 ‘are growing progressively and steadily’.


Top Australian Brokers


Today, 3.4 bn shares were traded, worth $6.6bn. 542 stocks rose, 839 fell & 436 finished unchanged.

Originally published by CommSec