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The local market jumped 0.14% to a near 6-month high today on the back of a solid session on Wall Street overnight buoyed by the latest FOMC minutes outlining that it may be appropriate soon for the Fed’s to slow down their aggressive rate hikes. Tech stocks was the best performing sector, while gold miners also led the charge today amid a rise in the price of the precious commodity.
Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) shares came off in afternoon trade following reports that the company’s domestic flight attendants have demanded the airline lift a two-year staff wage freeze or face the threat of attendants walking off the job during the Christmas rush. Nick Scali (ASX:NCK) shares soared over 10% today as investors responded to the furniture retailer’s AGM trading update outlining the company is performing materially better than expected in H1FY23 with revenues up 74% on the same period a year earlier. The company also expects first half profit to be between 56% to 66% above that of H1 FY22.
AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) shares took a hit today as investors responded to the company’s announcement today revealing it has decided to close the power Torrens Island B Power station in South Australia on the 30th June 2026 after 50-years of operation. The AGL management team doesn’t expect the closure announcement to have a material impact on earnings in FY23 nor does it expect the closure to have long term impact.
The winning stocks for today’s session were St Barbara (ASX:SBM) up over 9%, BrainChip Holdings (ASX:BRN) adding more than 8.5% and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) closing the day up 6.6%. And on the losing end coal miners weighed on the key index today amid concerns over demand in China, with New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) tanking almost 9% today, while Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) fell 6.65%.
Commodities are trading mixed this afternoon with crude oil down 0.24% to U$77.75 per barrel, and natural gas is down 1.53%, while gold is up 0.4% at US$1,755.86 an ounce, and iron ore is also up just over 1% at US$98 a tonne.
The Aussie dollar has strengthened to buy 67.61 US cents, 93.79 Japanese Yen, 56 British Pence and NZ$1.08.