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Closing Bell 16 November

Grady Wulff
November 16, 2022

Investor concerns over Russia’s war with Ukraine escalating caused the sell-off on the ASX today, with the key index closing the midweek session 0.27% lower amid a Russian missile strike pounding Ukraine’s energy facilities and Poland with its biggest barrage of missiles yet, according to reports. The mining giants offset some of the sessions’ losses with BHP Group (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) rallying over 1% today on hopes that China’s property rescue plans will reignite demand for steel. The utilities and consumer discretionary sectors were the worst performing today.

Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) entered a trading halt today in relation to a potential change of control transaction. Back in August, BHP (ASX:BHP) made a takeover offer for $25 per share that Oz Minerals rejected on the grounds of ‘undervaluing’ the company, so today’s trading halt has the market guessing BHP could be back with a revised offer, however neither company has yet confirmed this is the case.

The winning stocks for today’s session were led by Nufarm (ASX:NUF) lifting almost 9% after the agricultural chemical company released its full year results including a 24% increase in EBITDA to $447 million on revenue up 17% to $3.8 billion. Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) rallied 6.7% today and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) jumped 5.83%. On the losing end, Imugene (ASX:IMU) tumbled almost 10% today, while De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) fell 9.2% and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) ended the day down just over 7%.

The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients today were Argosy Minerals (ASX:AGY), Core Lithium (ASX:CXO), and Lake Resources (ASX:LKE).

On the commodities front today, crude oil is trading 0.84% lower at US$86.18 per barrel, gold is down 0.23% at US$1774 per ounce and iron ore is trading flat at US$97 per tonne.

The Aussie Dollar is buying 67.58 US cents, 56.98 British Pence, 94.53 Japanese Yen and 1 New Zealand Dollar and 10 cents.

Australia’s wage price index data released today showed the seasonally adjusted WPI rose 1% in the September quarter and 3.1% over the year, while the private sector rose 1.2% or double that of the public sector which rose 0.6%. Average private sector pay rises hit 4.3%, the highest quarterly growth in hourly wages recorded since March quarter 2012.

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