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The local market dipped to a two-month low during today’s session before closing the day down 1.56% at a new 20-day low of 6700.20 points. The key index was weighed down by the materials, real estate and utilities sectors each falling more than 2% today, however every sector ended the midweek session in negative territory as investor sentiment was dampened by the global market sell-off overnight ahead of the Fed’s interest rate decision out tomorrow.
Coal miners have been on a run this week, none more so than Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), with the company’s shares surging to a record high $9.16 during today’s session. Investors piled in after the coal miner issued a notice of AGM to its shareholders which includes two resolutions seeking shareholder approval to extend the company’s share buy-back programme. For the year, WHC reported WHC is on-track to complete the 1st buy-back ahead of its AGM, where it will seek further approval for an on-market buy-back and an off-market buy-back, which if approved will give the board authorisation to acquire up to 240m shares in aggregate.
Looking at the best performing stocks today, Washington H Soul Pattinson jumped almost 5% today after releasing FY22 results including cash flows from investments up 93%, net asset value up 71.6% and group regular profit after tax up 154.4%.
Viva Energy (ASX:VEA) shares also rose 4.56% today, while Whitehaven Coal added almost 4%. On the losing side, Imugene (ASX:IMU) tanked 8% today despite announcing that its first patient has been dosed as part of intravenous cohort 1 in the Phase 1 MAST study evaluating the safety of novel cancer-killing virus CF33-hNIS (VAXINA). Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) and Charter Hall (ASX:CHC) also each fell more than 5% today.
On the economic data front, at 4am Australian eastern time tomorrow the Fed’s latest interest rate decision will be released, which has caused investor confidence to slump this week as markets are torn between expecting a 0.75% and 1% rate hike. Later tomorrow, the Bank of England will release its interest rate decision for the UK, with the market expecting a rise to 2.25% from the current 1.75%.