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Despite a mixed lead from Wall St overnight, the Aussie sharemarket lifted by another 0.3 per cent or 20 points, to 7113. This is the ASX 200’s third straight win and its best start to the week in a month. Energy stocks were amongst the best performers, after the sector’s 2.1 per cent climb was supported by a lift in oil prices overnight. Material stocks also gained ground after all hard metals rallied overnight, with Nickel being the only exception.

In economic news today, the Reserve Bank (RBA) has released the minutes of its last meeting on May 3, which is when they elected to lift interest rates for the first time in 11½ years. Today’s minutes revealed that the RBA considered delaying the lift in rates to June, but acted upon the “recent evidence on wages growth from the Bank’s liaison”.

Consumer confidence data was also released today. Sentiment has dipped for a fourth straight week, taking consumer confidence to a mid-August 2020 low.

In company news today, shares in Brambles (BXB) fell 7.6 per cent after it announced that CVC Capital Partners “will not be putting forward a proposal, nor seeking to conduct detailed due diligence at this time”.

United Malt Group (UMG) has shed 1.5 per cent today after it announced a 24 per cent decrease in its half-year profits. UMG has reaffirmed its underlying (EBITDA) guidance for FY22 and CEO Mark Palmquist anticipates a “meaningful increase in EBITDA in FY23 and beyond”.

James Hardie (JHX) fell 3.5 per cent despite announcing a 24 per cent increase in its net sales, and a 75 per cent increase in its full year profits. JHX has reaffirmed its fiscal year 2023 adjusted net income guidance range of US$740 million and US$820 million, which is around a 25.7 per cent expected from its current adjusted net income.

The a2 Milk Company (A2M) advised that Race Strauss has resigned from his position as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to “take some personal leave before pursuing other interests”. A2M has appointed David Muscat as its new CFO. Shares of A2M climbed 0.5 per cent today.

3.7bn shares were traded, worth $7.7bn. 803 stocks finished higher, 660 ended lower, while 360 closed unchanged.

In the US, the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales data is issued alongside retail sales, industrial production, business inventories and the NAHB housing market index. The Federal Reserve chair participates in a question & answer session.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author), CommSec