The local market was boosted by sentiment seen on Wall Street overnight, and managed to recoup yesterday’s losses, after the ASX 200 rose by 1.7 per cent or 114.8 points to 6779.2. Ten sectors and roughly 93 per cent of stocks in the ASX 200 gained ground. The rate-sensitive Tech and Property sectors added 4.2 per cent and 3.1 per cent, respectively. While miners improved by 1.7 per cent, energy companies bucked the trend, with the sector declining
0.6 per cent – in part due to a modest fall in the oil price overnight. The Big 4 banks all rallied, and Macquarie Group (MQG) shares staged their biggest single day rally in roughly 1½ years (up 5.3 per cent).

In its quarterly production results, Rio Tinto (RIO) outlined a 1 per cent improvement in its iron ore production, and a 10 per cent increase in its mined copper production. It also noted a 2 per cent slip in its aluminium and bauxite production, and a 1 per cent decrease in its iron ore shipments. RIO has reaffirmed its Pilbara iron ore shipments guidance, but has cut its copper production guidance by 21 per cent. It also expects higher copper C1 costs. RIO shares finished 0.1 per cent higher.

Despite a broad-based rally, St Barbara (SBM) shed 21.6 per cent, marking itself as the worst performer today. This comes after the gold miner recorded a 5 per cent year-on-year decrease in its gold production, and a 67 per cent increase in its all-in-sustaining costs. SBM reasoned that the performance was driven by a ‘slower than anticipated ramp-up in underground mine equipment’.

Westpac (WBC) is currently in ‘preliminary discussions’ to acquire Tyro Payments (TYR). TYR says that it has ‘received approaches from several parties expressing interest in a potential change of control transaction’. TYR is down 44.4 per cent this year, but rose 1.9 per cent on the news. WBC shares also notched a 2.4 per cent rally.

Pilbara Minerals (PLS) has advised that it ‘accepted a pre-auction bid’ price of US$7,100 per dry-metric-tonne (dmt), for a 5,000dmt shipment of spodumene concentrate. After adjusting for other costs, this equates to an approximate price of US$7,830 per dmt. Despite climbing by as much as 5 per cent, PLS shares ended the session with a 0.2 per cent decline.


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On the economic front, Chinese economic growth (GDP), retail sales, production, investment and jobs data, which was scheduled to be released today, has been delayed. Forecasts suggest that the data is likely to be released on Sunday.

In the US tonight, industrial production data is released with the NAHB housing market index.

Today, 3.2bn shares were traded, worth $6.9bn. 894 stocks rose, 422 fell & 415 finished unchanged.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author), CommSec