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The strong rally that ended Wall St on a high last Friday boosted the ASX to close the first trading session of the week 1.2%% higher, which also improves investor sentiment heading into the big week of global cash rate decision announcements, with the RBA’s out tomorrow, and the US Fed’s decision and the UK rate announcement each out on Thursday.
The ASX had a sharp surge in the opening hour of trade, paired back gains slightly around the mid-session but regained momentum in the afternoon to close the day in the green. The technology sector felt a relief rally today on the back of the strong session for the tech-heavy Nasdaq on Wall St on Friday, while the energy sector closed lower today amid the declining commodity prices.
The story of the session was EML Payments (ASX:EML) tanking more than 25% today after the company announced further issues with its UK business. EML said it has agreed to temporarily cease onboarding new customers, agents and distributors in relation to its UK subsidiary, Prepaid Financial Services, following concerns raised by the UK Regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority. The temporary half is expected to cause a financial impact, as the company reduce its group revenue expectation by less than $5m in FY23.
GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) on the other hand soared more than 7.5% today after Russia pulled out of an agreement to enable grain exports from Ukraine through the Black Sea, a deal that was considered to be vital for easing the currently tight global supplies of grain like wheat. Russia’s decision is already putting upward pressure on grain prices including wheat surging 5.92% to US$878.12 per bushel.
The winning stocks today were Home Consortium (ASX:HMC), GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) and Lake Resources (ASX:LKE). On the other end, the losing stocks were NEXTDC (ASX:NXT), Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Brainchip Holdings (ASX:BRN).
Australian retail sales data for September out today showed Australians continued to spend in the month of September despite high inflation and rising interest rates making all purchases less affordable.
Tomorrow at 1:30pm AEDT, all eyes will be on the RBA’s interest rate decision, with the market expecting the country’s central bank to announce another 25-basis point rate hike for the month of November.
On the commodities front, iron ore continues to dip today, trading down 5.62% at US$84/tonne. The price of the commodity continues to tumble amid concerns over declining global steel demand after China’s services activity falling for the 1st time in 5-months in data out today, while at the same time there are renewed signs that supply of the commodity is strengthening.
The Australian dollar is trading slightly stronger today, with 1 Aussie dollar buying 64.26 US cents, 55.51 British Pence, 95.03 Japanese Yen, and 1 dollar and 10 New Zealand cents.