The Australian share market eased back its gains in the afternoon session, but maintained its spot in positive territory thanks to major banks and materials. At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.3 per cent or 19 points higher at 7,381.
Across the sectors, 4 out of 11 closed in the green. Materials was the best performer, up 1 per cent, then financials, up 0.5 per cent. Technology was the biggest drag, down 1.2 per cent, followed by health care and real estate, both down 1.1 per cent. The best-performing stock was Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC), closing 5.1 per cent higher. The worst-performing stock was Kogan.com (ASX:KGN), closing 4.6 per cent lower.
Heavyweight miners lifted, with Rio (ASX:RIO) closing 1.8 per cent higher and Fortescue (ASX:FMG) closing 0.6 per cent higher, despite iron ore prices pointing to a fall of 1.2 per cent. Gold miners dragged today, with Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) closing 3.4 per cent lower and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) closing 3.8 per cent lower. However, South32 (ASX:S32) closed 4.2 per cent higher and battery-ingredient miners OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) closed 4.3 and 4.4 per cent higher.
Major banks were in the spotlight today as Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) led the pack, closing 1.4 per cent higher. Energy stocks also kept in front, with Woodside (ASX:WPL) closing 0.07 per cent higher, Santos (ASX:STO) closing 1 per cent higher and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) closing 0.7 per cent higher.
Tech stocks fell even lower in the afternoon session, with Afterpay (ASX:APT) closing 1.6 per cent lower. Its rival Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) also closed 1.5 per cent lower on its first quarter FY22 results. Health stocks weighed on the index, led by bio tech giant CSL (ASX:CSL) closing 1.2 per cent lower. Domino’s Pizza (ASX:DMP) also suffered today, closing 3.7 per cent lower.
In headlines today, property giant Home Consortium (ASX:HMC) closed 2.4 per cent higher, following a possible merger with Aventus (ASX:AVN), which closed 4.3 per cent higher. HomeCo Daily Needs (ASX:HDN) closed 6.8 per cent lower.
Local economic news
Today the Reserve Bank has slated an online panel participation by Alexandra Heath, Reserve Bank Head of International Department, at AusPECC.
Over the week, the central bank will be taking the spotlight. They will release the minutes from the October 5 board meeting. Given the moves from APRA, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some notes around the tightening of home lending rules.
Other things to watch out for are the consumer confidence figures, September skilled job openings, payroll figures, and flash estimates of manufacturing and services activity.
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Gambling giant Aristocrat (ASX:ALL) has made an offer to acquire the UK online gambling software Playtech, valuing the enterprise at $5 billion.
Wealth platform HUB24 (ASX:HUB) is set to acquire 100 per cent of the cloud-based wealth technology company Class (ASX:CL1) after entering a scheme implementation deed.
Property giant Home Consortium (ASX:HMC) and its real estate investment trust HomeCo Daily Needs (ASX:HDN) have entered into a binding scheme implementation deed to acquire Aventus Group (ASX:AVN).
The possible sale of Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) to Sydney Aviation Alliance, a consortium of investment funds, is a step closer.
Nickel Search Limited (ASX:NIS) listed on the ASX today with an issue price of $0.20. The shares opened at 21.5 cents and closed flat at $0.20.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 10 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 6 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 45 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 12 points when the market next opens.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Materials, up 1 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 1.2 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC), closing 5.1 per cent higher at $1.03. It was followed by shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Kogan.com (ASX:KGN), closing 4.6 per cent lower at $10.69. It was followed by shares in EML Payments (ASX:EML) and Domino Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP).
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.2 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.3 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1768.72 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.5 per cent lower at US$125.22 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.2 per cent.
Light crude is trading $1.16 higher at US$82.89 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.02 US cents.