The Australian sharemarket finished in negative territory after see-sawing for much of the session. At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.2 per cent or 18 points lower at 7,434.
Across the sectors, 7 out of 11 closed in the red. Financials finished at the bottom, down 1 per cent, followed by energy and communication services, both down 0.9 per cent. Materials added the most points, up 1.2 per cent, followed by technology, up 1.1 per cent, then health care, up 0.7 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN), closing 28.5 per cent higher after it released its maiden mineral resource estimate for the Gonneville deposit at the Julimar Project in Western Australia.
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was poultry processing company Inghams (ASX:ING), closing 4.5 per cent lower, followed by the building products brand CSR (ASX:CSR), closing 2.5 per cent lower after trading ex-dividend today.
Major banks weighed on the market today, led by ANZ (ASX:ANZ) closing 1.4 per cent lower after announcing that it intend to purchase on-market up to around $120 million of ANZ shares, in order for ANZEST to settle employee compensation schemes. NAB (ASX:NAB) closed 0.8 per cent lower despite doubling its final dividend and beating profit expectations for the 2021 financial year, while Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) and Westpac (ASX:WBC) both closed 1.1 per cent lower.
Energy stocks like Woodside (ASX:WPL) and Santos (ASX:STO) closed 1.2 and 1.1 per cent lower, with Ampol (ASX:ALD) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) both closing 2 per cent lower.
In headlines, Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) closed 1.7 per cent lower following an announcement that it will acquire Pretium Resources for $3.8 billion. Online wagering platform PointsBet (ASX:PBH) closed 6 per cent higher after PointsBet New York was recommended by the New York State Gaming Commission to receive a platform provider licence to operate mobile sports wagering in New York.
Despite the ASX closing lower, there were a number of bright spots today. Tech stocks rallied with Novonix (ASX:NVX) closing 8.4 per cent higher and Megaport (ASX:MP1) closing 4.5 per cent higher. Heavyweight miners were also higher, led by Fortescue (ASX:FMG) closing 1.7 per cent higher. Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) closed 4.4 per cent higher and Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) closed 7.6 per cent higher.
Local economic news
NAB business survey results came in early with business conditions up 6 points to 11 index points in October, rising back above the long-run average.
Business conditions and confidence rose in October as lockdowns came to an end in both NSW and Victoria. Each of the trading conditions, profitability and employment subcomponents contributed to the improvement in conditions, which was driven by gains in NSW.
Confidence also rose building on the turnaround seen in September, driven by Victoria as businesses anticipated reopening at the end of the month.
All components of conditions rebounded with trading conditions at its strongest. NSW led the rebound in conditions, while Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia all edged lower.
ANZ and Roy Morgan released its weekly consumer confidence index. Consumer confidence was virtually unchanged at 109.0 on the first weekend of November. Consumer confidence is just above the 2021 weekly average of 108.3 and 5.9 points higher than the same week a year ago, November 7/8, 2020 (103.1).
Consumer Confidence this week was up in Sydney, Perth and Adelaide, but down slightly in Melbourne and Brisbane. This week’s increase was driven by Australians becoming more confident about the performance of the economy over the next year and next five years.
Please join us for Stocks of the Hour here.
NAB (ASX:NAB) has more than doubled its final dividend after reporting a strong rebound in profit during the 2021 financial year ending September 30.
Gold miner Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) has entered into an agreement to acquire all shares in Pretium Resources that it does not already own by way of a Canadian plan of arrangement.
Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) has appointed Simon McGrath from Accor Pacific as chief executive officer of Crown Sydney and group head of hospitality.
PointsBet’s (ASX: PBH) subsidiary PointsBet New York has been recommended by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) to recieve a platform provider licence to operate mobile sports wagering in New York.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 96 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 12 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 22 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 24 points when the market next opens.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 1.1 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Financials, down 1 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN), closing 28.5 per cent higher at $8.70. It was followed by shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) and PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Inghams Group (ASX:ING), closing 4.5 per cent lower at $3.39. It was followed by shares in CSR (ASX:CSR) and AGL Energy (ASX:AGL).
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.1 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite is flat.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1823.58 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.2 per cent higher at US$93.85 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.1 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.05 lower at US$80.69 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.19 US cents.