The Aussie sharemarket snapped its four day winning streak, following declines on Wall St, uncertainty stemming from the US mid-term elections and a selloff in cryptocurrencies. The benchmark ASX 200 index closed 0.5 per cent or 35.3 points lower to 6964. Only five (of 12) sectors finished in positive territory. The utilities sector stood out, lifting by 13 per cent on the back of a takeover offer for Origin Energy (ORG). Materials, financials and information technology all weighed while energy was the worst performing sector losing 2.1 per cent.

Origin Energy (ORG) was the best performer, lifting 34.8 per cent after receiving an indicative, conditional and nonbinding proposal from Brookfield Asset Management together with its affiliates to acquire all the issued shares in Origin, by way of scheme of arrangement, at a price of $9.00 cash per share. This Indicative proposal values Origin at $18.4 billion on an enterprise value basis.

Accounting software provider Xero Ltd (XRO) released its FY23 half year earnings. Its net loss after tax worsened by 172 per cent to NZ$16.1 million while its operating revenue increased 30 per cent to $658.5 million. It also announced the succession of its long standing CEO. XRO shares closed 10.9 per cent lower to become the second worst performer on the market today.

Fund manager Pendal Group (PDL) lost 10.9 per cent to be the worst performer. Perpetual Ltd (PPT) proposed a short deferral to the first court hearing for the scheme of arrangement to acquire PDL, in light of developments since that hearing was scheduled. PPT became the target of an unsolicited conditional, non-binding indicative proposal from a consortium comprising BPEA Private Equity Fund VIII and Regal Partners offering $33.00 cash per
share, an increase from the original Indicative proposal of $30.00 cash per share. However PPT rejected the offer citing it materially undervalues the company. PPT shares added 14.8 per cent to close as the second best performer.

Computershare (CPU) held its AGM today and raised its guidance for FY23 thanks mainly to rising interest rates. It now expects ~$800 million in margin income over the year, which is a $280 million lift on its August guidance and 4 1/2 times last year’s margin income. CPU shares closed 4.1 per cent higher.


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BHP Group (BHP), Ansell (ANN), Breville Group (BRG) and Nine Entertainment (NEC) were among the other major companies to hold their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) today.

Tonight in the US, the weekly data on new claims for unemployment benefits are issued alongside the October data on consumer prices and the monthly budget statement. ArcelorMittal, AstraZeneca and Ralph Lauren are among the companies scheduled to report earnings.

3.7bn shares were traded, worth $7.4bn. 513 stocks rose, 770 fell & 431 finished unchanged.

Originally published by CommSec