The Australian sharemarket extended its gains to a second consecutive day, following positive sentiment from better
than expected US inflation figures overnight. The ASX 200 rose 0.7 per cent or 48 points to 7251.3 and all sectors
gained ground. Utilities was the best performing sector which rose 2.9 per cent. Despite a dip in most of the Big 4
banks, the broader Financials sector edged 0.1 per cent higher, marking itself as today’s worst performing sector.

Gold producers St Barbara (SBM) and Genesis Minerals (GMD) exited a trading halt which announced an agreement
to merge to form Hoover House Ltd on Monday. Today, GMD also announced the ‘successful completion of the
bookbuild for a $275 million placement. SBM soared 13.9 per cent to be the top performer in the ASX 200, while GMD  closed 12.6 per cent higher.

Energy producer Santos (STO) announced a new gas supply agreement with the Walyering joint-venture in the
Perth Basin. Under the agreement STO ‘will purchase a total of 36.5 petajoules of gas from the Walyering field over five years’, commencing in the first half of 2023. Gas purchased will be supplied domestically. STO closed 0.9 per cent higher.

Woolworths (WOW) announced it will sell 5.5 per cent stake of hospitality company Endeavour Group (EDV). WOW
stated that the sale would be facilitated through a ‘block trade at a price of $6.46 per share’. WOW still retains a 9.1
per cent stake in EDV and expressed no intention ‘in the short to medium term’ to further reduce its interest. WOW
closed 0.6 per cent higher whilst EDV fell 4.3 per cent.

Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) held its annual general meeting (AGM) today, where its chairman, John
McFarlane, advised shareholders of his intention to retire after WBC’s 2023 AGM. WBC closed 0.4 per cent lower.


Top Australian Brokers


Ahead: In the US, the Federal Reserve hands down its interest rate decision. Markets currently expect a 50 basis
point rate hike.

Today, 3.2bn shares were traded, worth $9bn. 762 stocks rose, 574 fell & 428 finished unchanged.

Originally published by CommSec