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The local market started the week in positive territory, closing Monday’s session up 0.6% driven by a surge in materials stocks amid a broad surge in commodity prices including iron ore jumping 4.71% to US$89 per tonne. Oil prices rallied in early trade before sharply declining after China indicated a relaxation of its COVID zero goal is not being considered yet. Crude oil fell 1.4% to US$91.31 per barrel, while brent crude dropped 1.17% to US$97.42 per barrel.
Medibank Private (ASX:MPL) confirmed today it will not pay the ransom asked to protect the stolen data of 9.7 million current and former customers, and the insurer also warned customers they may get a call from criminals or see their leaked data online. Investors punished Westpac (ASX:WBC) today after the big bank released FY22 results including a decline in full-year cash profit to $5.276 billion and a fall in earnings across its consumer and business divisions compared to the prior financial year. The big bank’s chief executive also warned Aussies will be impacted by higher rates including when borrowers’ low fixed-rate loans are rolled over. Coronado Global Resources (ASX:CRN) shares plunged today after the leading global producer of high-quality metallurgical coal announced its potential $9 billion+ merger discussions with Peabody Energy Corporation have ended.
The winning stocks for today’s session were Capricorn Metals (ASX:CMM), which added 10% after the company reported a major Mineral Resource Estimate boost at its Mt Gibson Gold Project in WA. Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) added just under 7% today and West African Resources (ASX:WAF) rallied 6.93%. On the losing end, Coronado Global Resources (ASX:CRN) lost over 7% today, WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) fell almost 6% and Altium (ASX:ALU) shed almost 4.5%.
In economic data out today, China’s trade balance data for October was released showing exports for the month dropped 0.3% from the year earlier, while imports fell 0.7%, with both missing market expectations. For the month, China’s trade surplus fell to US$85.15 billion, while the market was expecting the trade surplus to hit US$95.95bn.
The Australian dollar has slightly weakened today to buy 64.08 US cents, 57.01 British Pence, 94.64 Japanese Yen, and 1 New Zealand dollar and 9 cents.