The Australian sharemarket closed at fresh 5-month highs despite the negative lead from Wall St overnight and
concerns with surging Covid-19 cases in China. The benchmark ASX 200 index added 42 points or 0.6 per cent
to 7181.3. Only three (of 11) sectors lost ground. The energy sector was the best performer, bouncing back from Mondays declines. Coal miners were among the best performers with Whitehaven Coal (WHC) adding 7.8 per cent and New Hope (NHC) lifting by 7.3 per cent. Woodside Energy (WDS) closed 2.9 per cent higher.

Virgin Money UK (VUK) rose 10.6 per cent after announcing its annual results, making it the best performer of the ASX 200. It reported a pre-tax profit of 595 million pounds for the year to September. A final dividend of 7.5 pence per ordinary share was declared in addition to announcing an increased buy back.

Software as a Service (SaaS) provider Technology One (TNE) gained 5 per cent today after announcing its full year
results. Revenue rose 18 per cent to $369.4m and profit after tax rose 22 per cent to $88.8m. It also announced a dividend of 12.82 cents inclusive of a special dividend of 2 cents. The stock will trade ex-dividend on 1 December and the dividend will be paid on 16 December.

BlueScope Steel (BSL) held its AGM today and reaffirmed its previous guidance provided in August that 1H23
underlying earnings (EBIT) will be in the range of $800- $900m. BSL said the outlook for its US businesses ‘has
improved moderately since August’ driven in part by better than expected margins & FX moves’. BSL closed 4.8 per
cent higher.

Fortescue Metals (FMG), Brickworks (BKW) and The Star Entertainment Group (SGR) all held their Annual General
Meetings (AGMs) today.


Top Australian Brokers


Ahead in the US, the influential Richmond Federal Reserve surveys of manufacturing and services sectors is scheduled with the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales report. Locally, RBA Governor Philip Lowe delivers a speech at 7.30pm AEDT tonight in Melbourne.

Today, 3.1bn shares were traded, worth $6.9bn. 652 stocks rose, 666 fell & 467 finished unchanged.

Originally published by CommSec