Home / Daily Market Update / The Santa Rally continues, as the Australian market continues its ascent

The Santa Rally continues, as the Australian market continues its ascent

Daily Market Update

The S&P/ASX 200, surged by 0.7 per cent with 10 of its 11 sectors showing gains, the index stands merely 1.3 per cent below its peak in August 2021. Meanwhile, the broader All Ordinaries index also closed up by 0.6 per cent. Additionally, the Australian dollar climbed to a five-month high against the US dollar as hopes for rate cuts weighed on the latter. The ASX witnessed notable gains in the consumer discretionary sector, with companies like Wesfarmers, JB Hi-Fi, and Domino’s Pizza recording increases. The communication services sector also surged, led by Telstra and TPG Telecom. Energy stocks followed the upward trend, tracking the rise in crude oil prices due to escalating tensions in the Middle East disrupting shipping in the Red Sea. Woodside Energy and Karoon were among the notable gainers. Furthermore, major Australian banks, including Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, and ANZ, all registered gains during the trading session.

KMD Brands, Orica, Terra, PEXA, Whispir, Transurban

  • KMD Brands, the owner of the Kathmandu outdoor clothing label, experienced an 8 per cent decline to 69.5 cents following a disclosure of a 12.5 per cent drop in sales compared to the previous year in its recent trading update. This decrease was attributed to ongoing weak consumer sentiment. Orica, a manufacturer of explosives, saw a 2.5 per cent decrease to $16.21 as it announced intentions to acquire Terra, a Canadian company specializing in sensors and data delivery, for $C505 million ($559.9 million). PEXA, an electronic conveyancing platform, faced an 11.8 per cent downturn to $10.92 after issuing a negative update regarding its acquisition of the UK-based business Smoove. Whispir enjoyed an 8.8 per cent surge to 55.5 cents due to a bidding war erupting over the technology company. Competing suitors Pendula and Soprano escalated their bids, boosting the company’s value. Transurban appointed Gary Lennon, former Chief Financial Officer of National Australia Bank, to its board, resulting in a marginal 0.2 per cent decline in shares, closing at $13.84.

    Alphabet lifts following an advertising restructure, whilst Alibaba falls struggling with upper management

    On Wednesday, the stock market saw declines as investors assessed whether the ongoing surge, driven by expectations of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, would persist through the year’s end. FedEx reported second-quarter earnings below expectations and revised its sales forecast for the fiscal year, anticipating a “low-single-digit per centage decline” in fiscal 2024 compared to its previous estimate of “approximately flat” sales growth. Despite maintaining a guidance of $17 to $18.50 per share for fiscal 2024, as forecasted in September, the shipping giant’s shares plummeted by 12 per cent. Meanwhile, rival United Parcel Service (UPS) witnessed a 2.9 per cent decline. Alphabet experienced a 1.2 per cent increase following news of Google’s plans to restructure a significant portion of its advertising sales unit, potentially marking Alphabet shares’ highest closing point since April 2022.  Professional services company Aon dropped by 6 per cent following its agreement to acquire NFP, a middle-market property, and casualty broker, for approximately $13.4 billion in cash and stock. U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba fell by 1.4 per cent as Chief Executive Eddie Wu prepared to take over as CEO of Taobao and Tmall Group, Alibaba’s domestic e-commerce arm, marking the latest executive change within the Chinese tech company.

    James Dunn

    James is an experienced senior journalist and host of The Inside Network's industry events.

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