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Closing Bell 20 October

Grady Wulff
October 20, 2022

The local market closed in negative territory, down 1.02% today on the back of the global market sell-off overnight which was spurred by the UK’s inflation rate rising and investor sentiment in the US falling on concerns of more aggressive rate hikes to come in the region for months to come. It was another day for trading updates on the local market, causing investors to both sell-off and pile into certain stocks following the respective releases of quarterly earnings reports.

Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS) shares soared today after the oil and gas giant released a trading update today outlining record performance for Q3 including record production up 52%, sales volume up 59% and revenue jumped 70%. The results were largely driven by the inclusion of BHP’s petroleum assets. Zip Co (ASX:ZIP) also jumped 13% today after releasing a first quarter trading update today, revealing strength across both top and bottom lines including revenue up 19%, transaction numbers lifting 33%, customer numbers up 50% and merchants rising 70% to 94,100. Zip’s US business also saw credit loss rates decrease to 2.4% of total transaction volume, in line with target levels. We are seeing Australian companies are increasingly factoring in La Nina weather events set to hit the east coast over summer, into future guidance in updates released this week, for example Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Costa Group (ASX:CGC).

The ASX200’s biggest winners today were NOVONIX (ASX:NVX) adding 7.04%, Adbri (ASX:ABC) recovered some of its losses from the past few sessions surging 6.76% today, and Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS) added 6.18%. And on the losing end, Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) fell 13.23%, Megaport (ASX:MP1) lost 11.80%, and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) extended its losses, falling a further 8% today.

The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients today were the BetaShares Australian Strong Bear Hedge Fund (ASX:BBOZ), Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and the BetaShares Geared Australian Equity Hedge Fund (ASX:GEAR).

Today, Australia’s unemployment rate data for September was released showing the country’s jobless rate held steady at a near-50 year low of 3.5% for the month with just 900 Aussies gained work while the number of unemployed Australians increased by 8800.

The AUD is slightly weaker today following the release of the nation’s unemployment rate with 1 Aussie dollar buying 62.63 US cents, 93.94 Japanese Yen, 55.17 British Pence, and 1.11 New Zealand.

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