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Closing Bell 9 February

Sophia Mavridis
February 9, 2023

The overnight retreat on Wall Street weighed down the local stock market, with the ASX200 closing the day 0.53% lower. The utilities sector led the fall on the back of the weak half year result from AGL Energy. It’s shares dropped 9.6% as it halved its dividend and lowered the top end of its annual guidance ranges. Underlying NPAT fell 55% year-on-year to $87 million, and underlying EBITDA fell 16% to $604 million. The company reported a statutory loss after tax of $1.1 billion, which includes $706 million of impairment charges (post-tax) from AGL’s accelerated decarbonisation plans.

Technology stocks tracked the softness of their US peers – Megaport (ASX:MP1) dropped more than almost 6%, after reporting promising results. The company finished the period with an EBITDA margin of 6%, and total revenue was up 38% to $70.7 million.

Financials were mixed today, after ANZ reported a solid first quarter. Its shares closed higher, while its major rivals were lifted about 0.2%.

Taking a look at commodities, well the first Australian coal cargoes have arrived in China and are awaiting customs clearance. Two vessels carrying Australian coal have reached China for the first time since an unofficial ban on imports was introduced over 2 years ago and several more are on the way. They are being closely monitored by coal traders as they are keen to see how smooth Chinese customs procedures will be.

And the winning stocks today were De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG), IDP Education (ASX:IEL) and Downer (ASX:DOW). The stocks that declined the most were AGL Energy (ASX:AGL), Coronado Global Resources (ASX:CRN) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

And the most traded stocks today by Bell Direct clients were BHP(ASX:BHP), Argosy Minerals (ASX:AGY), Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), AGL (ASX:AGL) and ANZ (ASX:ANZ).

Lastly, the Australia dollar is slightly higher, with $1 buying US$0.70, 57.93 British Pence, 91.42 Japanese Yen and NZ$1.10.

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