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The local market followed the global market sell-off overnight to close Thursday’s session down 0.07% as investors fled REIT stocks, sending the sector down 1.87%, while piling into the banks and lifting the financial sector 1.4%.
The story of the day and winning stock of the day was Australia’s national carrier Qantas (ASX:QAN) releasing a group market update outlining strong demand has accelerated the airline’s recovery. The flying kangaroo expects first half profit before tax of between $1.2bn and $1.3bn, which is a sharp recovery from the $1.9bn loss before tax reported for FY22. Qantas also said operational performance continues to improve to expect operations to be back at or around pre-COVID service levels in first half of October, and annual wages for around 20,000 employees will be increased following a two-year wage freeze. Other winning stocks today included Kelsian Group (ASX:KLS) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) which added 6.3% and 4.1% respectively.
Software company ELMO (ASX:ELO) soared 22% today after the HR tech company confirmed it has received takeover approaches from a number of parties including Accel-KKR, which ELMO has said it is in discussions with some parties in the context of maximising shareholder value.
On the losing end of the market, NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF) tanked almost 12% today following the completion of the company’s $135m institutional placement. Graincorp (ASX:GNC) fell 6.3% today and Allkem (ASX:AKE) also fell 5.56% to end Thursday’s session.
Medibank Private shares entered a trading halt today after the health insurance provider reported a cyber incident, specifically it ‘detected unusual activity on its network yesterday’. The company has engaged specialised cyber security firms to assist with containing and investigating the attack.
Tonight’s big focus is the release of US core inflation data for September which is out at 10:30pm AEDT, with the market expecting US core inflation to drop slightly to 8.1% in September from 8.3% in August.
The Australia dollar is buying 62.78 US cents, 56.60 British Pence, 92.19 Japanese Yen and 1 New Zealand dollar and 12 cents.