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The local market advanced 0.33% today driven by a rally for materials stocks amid a rise in the price of iron ore. Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG), BHP Group (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) each added almost 7%, almost 3% and 4% respectively.
The price of iron ore also jumped today as China loosened the curbs on its COVID-19 restrictions including Shenzhen and Beijing removing the requirement for commuters to produce a negative COVID-19 test before boarding public transport, enhancing demand outlook for iron ore. The price of oil jumped 1.28% today after OPEC+ decided to maintain oil production and current levels of reducing oil output by 2 million barrels a day from November through 2023 amid increased Western sanctions set to be placed on Russian oil set to kick in soon in addition to China easing restrictions boosting demand outlook. The EU is set to ban most seaborne Russian oil imports from Monday.
Splitit (ASX:SPT) lifted over 8% today after the buy now, pay later company expanded its agreement with Google, to bring instalment payments solutions to the Google store in the US, Canada and Australia. OreCorp (ASX:ORR) took flight today amid production outlook of 240,000 ounces of gold per year for 1—year at its Nyanzaga Gold Project in Africa. The company recently received debt funding proposals to fund the development of this project, including non-binding expressions of interest from banks in Europe, Africa and Tanzania for more than US$400 million. Gina Rinehart has expanded her presence in the rare earths space through buying a 10% stake in Arafura Rare Earths via a $60 million investment in a $121m capital raising.
The Aussie dollar is buying 68.46 US cents, 55.36 British Pence, 91.95 Japanese Yen and NZ$1.06.
On the economic data front today, third quarter company profits in Australia unexpectedly fell 12.4% in data released today, missing market expectations and indicating the RBA’s rate hike actions to date have started taking effect. The decline in company profits for the quarter was the first drop since Q4 2020, with the largest decline felt in mining, manufacturing and recreation services. Year to date, Q3 corporate profits rose by 8.5% which is a sharp decline from the 28.2% surge in Q2.
On the commodities front, natural has is down 6.3%, coal is up 1.56% at US$391 per tonne, uranium is down 1.2% but gold is up 0.62% at US$1809 per ounce, and iron ore is up 1.43% at US$106.70.