The Australian share market recovered from early losses to finish in positive territory despite a weak lead from Wall St overnight. The sentiment was buoyed by the rise of iron ore prices over US$100 mark and on the news of easing tensions in China. The benchmark ASX 200 index added 0.3 per cent or 24.2 points to 7,253, despite only 4 (of 11) sectors rising. Iron ore miners were amongst the best performers with Rio Tinto (RIO) adding 3.5 per cent, Fortescue Metals (FMG) rising 2.2 per cent and BHP (BHP) closing 2.1 per cent higher.

Oil and gas explorer Santos Ltd (STO) announced an extension of its current gas supply agreement with concrete block and brick manufacturer Brickworks (BKW). The new long term agreement will commence January 2025 for 11 years and will, ‘provide long-term security of affordable gas supply for Brickworks’ and ‘support Santos’ investment in more gas supply for the east coast market’. Santos also announced a temporary shutdown of its John Brookes platform after identifying a gas leak with expectations of 4 to 6 weeks to return to full production. STO rose by 1.1 per cent while BKW edged 0.2 per cent lower.

Woodside Energy (WDS) fell 0.35 per cent off the back of its 2023 full year guidance announcement. Woodside increased production guidance to 180-190 million barrels of oil equivalent, higher than the previous third quarter production guidance of 153-157 million. However, WDS updated its full year guidance of capital expenditure to US $6-6.5 billion from a previous US $4-4.3 billion.

Healthcare Corporation Fisher & Paykel (FPH) soared 9.8 per cent to be the best performer of the day after announcing its FY 23 half year results. While revenue was lower than the prior period there was a 21 per cent increase ‘on the comparable prepandemic period’. There was also an increase in interim dividend by 3 per cent to NZD17.5 cents a share.

Collins Food (CKF) was the worst performer on the ASX 200, falling 19.8 per cent. The KFC operator noted a drop in NPAT of $11 million for the half year ended October 16, down from $26.4 million reported in the prior period. The company warned that ‘significant inflationary headwinds’ and ‘margin pressures’ were to be expected for the rest of FY23. It announced a dividend of 12 cents per share.


Top Australian Brokers


Ahead: In the US, two gauges of home prices will be delivered. Locally, the monthly consumer price index will be issued tomorrow.

Today, 3.3 bn shares were traded, worth $7.1bn. 556 stocks rose, 755 fell & 452 finished unchanged.

Originally published by CommSec