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Closing Bell 17 November

Sophia Mavridis
November 17, 2022

The local market followed in the footsteps of Wall Street today, closing the second last trading session of the week down 0.2%, amid the release of unemployment data showing a decline in the country’s unemployment rate, which was a result vastly different to what economists’ were expecting. Consumer staples was the leading sector today, while the energy sector weighed down on the market.

The big story of was Perpetual (ASX:PPT) shares falling 13% today, while Pendal (ASX:PDL) shares jumped more than 10% during the session, after the NSW Supreme Court ruled Perpetual could face costly penalties if it walks away from the planned transaction to buy out rival Pendal, in favour of pursuing a buyout of its own, by BPEA and Regal Partners. The court ordered that the ‘break fee’ of $23 million would not be an exclusive remedy for Perpetual to pay, if it walked away, and that Pendal could see orders to enforce Perpetual’s obligations to complete the scheme.

The winning stocks today were Pendal (ASX:PDL), Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Fisher and Paykel (ASX:FPH). And on the losing end, Perpetual (ASX:PPT) declined the most, followed by New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients today were National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB), Terracom (ASX:TER) and Argosy Minerals (ASX:AGY).

Australia’s jobless rate declined 0.1% to 3.4% in October, the lowest level since the mid-1970s, defying economists’ expectations of an increase in unemployment. Around 32,000 jobs were added to the Australian economy in October and seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked increased by 2.3% reflecting fewer employed people than usual taking leave during October. Floods across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania saw more people working reduced hours though due to the bad weather events.

On the commodities front, oil has dropped 1.5% and is currently trading at US$84 per barrel. Gold is also in the red at US$1,762 an ounce, while iron ore has jumped more than 2% to US$99 per tonne.

And the Aussie dollar is buying 67 US cents, 56.93 British Pence, 93.57 Japanese Yen and NZ$1.09.

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