Newcrest, Nuix provide market highlights
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Wednesday advanced 26 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7,530.1, while the broader All Ordinaries closed 27.4 points to the good, also 0.4 per cent, at 7,740.5.
Goldminer Newcrest added another 65 cents, or 2.6 per cent, to $25.60, taking its gain to almost 14.5 per cent since it received a $24.5 billion takeover offer from US gold heavyweight Newmont Corporation, the world’s largest gold miner, at the weekend.
Investigative analytics and intelligence software provider Nuix kept rising, backing up Tuesday’s 44 per cent rise with a 17-cent, or 13.1 per cent, gain to $1.47. That makes a 67 per cent gain since the company’s win in the Federal Court on Tuesday, when the court ruled that the company does not have to pay former CEO Eddie Sheehy $183 million.
Financials were the biggest gainers on Wednesday, climbing 0.9 per cent as a sector. Insurer Suncorp lifted 57 cents, or 4.6 per cent, to $13.04 half-year net profit surged 44.3 per cent, to $560 million, and the company boosted its dividend.
Investment bank Macquarie spiked $4.90, or 2.6 per cent, to a fresh nine-month high of $195.23, while the big retail banks ended mostly in the green, led by National Australia Bank, which gained 33 cents, or 1 per cent, to $32.06.
Westpac was up 17 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $23.90 and ANZ advanced 13 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $25.79, while CBA eked out a 2-cent rise, to $110.32.
Boral not boring in ‘23
In industrial land, building products company Boral provided a highlight, jumping 45 cents, or 12.8 per cent, to $3.97 after reporting a 15 per cent rise in profits on a continuing operations basis, to $95.3 million – that is, after selling its North American building profits business last financial year. Boral is now focused on maximising profits from its vertically integrated building materials network in Australia, and the market likes it: Boral is up 38 per cent so far in 2023. CSL was down $1.87, or 0.6 per cent, to $306.20.
Among the big miners, Fortescue Metals was up 43 cents, or 2 per cent, to $22.48 as its joint venture Ivindo Iron signed an agreement to begin mining in the second half of this year in Gabon in central Africa. BHP closed 9 cents, or 0.2 per cent, higher at $48.10, while Rio Tinto rose $1.29, or 1 per cent, to $124.19.
In energy, Woodside Energy gained 23 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $36.39, Santos eased 2 cents to $7.03, and Beach Energy surrendered 4 cents, or 2.5 per cent, to $1.54.
In coal, Whitehaven Coal eased 8 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $8.54; New Hope Corporation lost 5 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $6.11, and Yancoal Australia retreated 13 cents, or 2.1 per cent, to $6.06.
In lithium, Pilbara Minerals surged 18 cents, or 3.8 per cent, to $4.94, and fellow producer Allkem lifted 38 cents, or 2.9 per cent, to $13.32. Mineral Resources, which produces iron ore and lithium, was up $2.10, or 2.4 per cent, to $89.09, while IGO, which mines nickel and lithium, gained 28 cents, or 1.9 per cent, to $14.73.
Among the lithium project developers, Lake Resources was up 2.5 cents, or 3.4 per cent, to 77 cents; Liontown Resources spiked 5.5 cents, or 3.8 per cent, to $1.52; and Core Lithium was up 2 cents, or 1.9 per cent, to $1.08. Rare earths producer Lynas rose 5 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $9.22, while copper miner Sandfire Resources advanced 20 cents, or 3.2 per cent, to $6.41.
US markets ease
In the US, the stock market fell in the Wednesday session as corporate earnings returned to centre stage. The 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 207.68 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 33,949.01, while the broader S&P 500 fell 46.1 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 4,117.86, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index retreated 203.27 points, or 1.7 per cent, to close at 11,910.52.
About 69 per cent of the 297 S&P 500 companies that have reported fourth-quarter earnings so far beat analysts’ estimates, according to data from Refinitiv, although many analysts had lowered their expectations for the quarter amid rising concerns about the health of the economy. Just over 27 per cent of companies missed analyst consensus estimates for the quarter.
Both the 10-year and 2-year US Treasury yields eased on Wednesday. Gold was flat at US$1,875.60 an ounce. The global benchmark Brent crude oil grade was US$1.42 stronger, up 1.7 per cent to US$85.11 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate gained US$1.34, or 1.7 per cent, to US$78.48 a barrel.
The Australian dollar is buying 69.21 US cents this morning, down from 69.60 US cents at the local close on Wednesday.