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Closing Bell 3 November

Grady Wulff
November 3, 2022

The local market followed in the footsteps of global markets following the Fed’s latest 75-basis point rate hike announced yesterday, with the ASX closing Thursday’s session down 1.84% as a sharp sell-off in materials stocks weighed on the key index. Every sector aside from communications services stocks ended the session in the red.

The story of the session today was shares in Australian investment fund and trustee group Perpetual (ASX:PPT) lifting more than 8% after the company announced it has received and rejected a takeover offer for $30 per share from a consortium of BPEA Private Equity and fund manager Regal Partners. Woolworths (ASX:WOW) released first quarter results this morning including sales up 1.8% to $16.36 billion, however online sales tumbled 14.5% as Australians cycled out of lockdowns in the post-pandemic era. The supermarket giant also revealed average Australian food prices increased 7.3% on the PCP, with the company unsure of how much of this relates to the cost-of-living pressures compared to COVID-19 normalisation. The a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) also made waves today announcing it has been granted temporary access to sell its a2 Platinum infant formula in the US until 6th January 2023, as the country continues facing a significant baby formula shortage crisis following the contamination scare back in February.

The winning stocks today were Perpetual (ASX:PPT) after receiving and rejecting a takeover bid, New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) and Downer EDI (ASX:DOW). On the losing end, Domino’s Pizza (ASX:DMP) tanked almost 12% after the pizza giant released a disappointing trading update at its AGM. Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) shares fell 10.7% and Lendlease (ASX:LLC) lost 8.73% today.

The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients today were the BetaShares Strong Bear Hedge Fund (ASX:BBOZ), Norfolk Metals (ASX:NFL) as the gold and uranium explorer soared more than 125% today after announcing its maiden drill test intersected native copper and sulphide mineralisation at the Roger River project. Bell Direct clients also traded BHP Group (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) today.

Australia’s trade balance data for September released today indicated the country’s trade surplus surged to a three-month high of $12.44bn for the month, well exceeding market expectations, and showing a recovery in the country’s exports, driven by LNG and metal ore exports rising 19.5% and 8.7% respectively.

On the commodities front, brent oil is down 0.7% at US$95.50 per barrel, coal is up 0.56% at US$361 per tonne, gold is up 0.14% at US$1637 per ounce and iron ore is flat at US$81.50 per tonne.

The Australian dollar has weakened to buy 63.5 US cents, 55.91 British Pence, 93.76 Japanese Yen, and 1 New Zealand dollar and 9 cents.

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