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ASX closes 0.3% lower; Westpac takes $1.3b hit

Daily Market Update (46)

ASX down on oil, iron ore jumps, Newcrest’s bold plan
 
The S&P/ASX200 (ASX: XJO) fell 0.3% on Tuesday despite being buoyed by a seven year high in the oil price.
 
All sectors barring consumer staples and healthcare were lower, with the latter gaining 0.9% behind a 1.8% improvement in CSL (ASX: CSL) shares.
 
The outperformance came after management confirmed their previous profit guidance, supported by a 2 to 5% increase in revenue. The company is facing higher costs but has a history of beating expectations.
 
Shares in Westpac (ASX: WBC) fell 1.7% dragging the financial sector down 0.4% after announcing a $1.3 billion write-down on their institutional banking division and technology assets.
 
Iron ore has soared back in the last three weeks, gaining 45% after another 9% jump overnight as Chinese mills restock after a quiet holiday period, BHP (ASX: BHP) fell 0.3%.
 
Shares in Vicinity (ASX: VCX) fell 0.3% but announced the acquisition of Gold Coast’s Harbour Town outlet shopping centre for $358 million as they seek to diversify their core Sydney and Melbourne asset base.
 
Business confidence buoyed, coal futures soaring, Plenti jumps on new loans
 
Impending ends to lockdowns in Victoria and New South Wales have seen business confidence jumped 19 points to a positive result of 13, primarily on the back of clear roadmaps delivered in the Southern states.
 
Wholesale trade, retail and construction were the key contributors. Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) has outlined an ambitious plan to expand its copper production by 37% over the coming years along with the expansion of three high potential mines; copper remains a key input into batteries of all kinds.
 
The group expects to invest as much as $3 billion as they double down on gold, using their well-timed Canadian purchase of Red Chris, expansion at Lihir and Cadia to boost growth and reduce their overall cost base.
 
Costs are expected to fall another 50% over the next ten years due to the benefits of scale.
 
Fintech lender Plenti (ASX: PLT) continues to disrupt the major banks with shares gaining 5.8% after management confirmed they expect to reach their $1bn loan book by December, ahead of schedule.
 
Profit reached $256 million a 140% increase with another monthly record of $95 million in new loans in September, with auto and renewable loans central to this.
 
US weakens ahead of earnings season, yields flatten
 
US markets gave up early gains as a long list of the world’s leading companies are set to report in the coming weeks.
 
Third quarter earnings season is expected to deliver earnings growth as high as 25%, however, after the recent cut to growth forecasts by the IMF all eyes will be on the impact of the energy crisis on costs.
 
US Treasury yields continued to hold firm around 1.6% after a strong spike in September, with the market ultimately waiting for direction.
 
The Dow Jones finished down 0.3%, the S&P 500 0.2% and the Nasdaq 0.1%.

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