The Australian share market finished slightly lower on Monday, down 0.2 per cent, as a jump in commodities, particularly iron ore, offset losses across every other sector. On Tuesday, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price is in focus, given the CBA trading update out today.
The materials sector gained 3.4 per cent on Monday, along with energy, after the oil price moved about US$90 per barrel once again. Iron ore was the highlight with Champion (ASX: CIA) gaining 12 per cent, Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) 9.1 and BHP Group (ASX: BHP) 4.6 per cent on news that restrictions were being eased further in China, which was set to support an economic recovery.
Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX: FLT) shares fell 3.1 per cent after the company opted not to provide guidance for the remainder of the financial year, with the $70 to $90 million first-half earnings guidance retained. It was a similar story for Nearmap Group (ASX: NEA) with the company announcing the loss of a $6 million recurring contract, but increasing their expected cash balance, shares fell 4.1 per cent on the news.
Adore Beauty (ASX: ABY) delivered another weak result with revenue down 29 per cent on the prior quarter in FY22, but returning customers up 14 per cent; shares gained 4.1 per cent.
Elders tanks, rates set to go higher, ALS flat on strong result
Shares in agribusiness Elders Ltd (ASX: ELD) fell heavily, down 19.9 per cent after the company reported a 9 per cent increase in profit to $162 million. Sales increased 35 per cent to $3.4 billion which suggests costs are becoming more of an issue amid the global inflation outbreak.
Weakness, however, came from the lower-than-expected guidance of 5 per cent earnings growth, while the CEO also unexpectedly stepped down after announcing a 27 per cent increase in the dividend.
Shares in testing group ALS Ltd (ASX: ALQ) were slightly lower, falling 0.4 per cent, after the company handed down revenue growth of close to 24 per cent, and strong 17 per cent profit margin.
Commodity testing was the primary contributor, up 26 per cent, with Life Sciences expected to bounce back in the second half of the year. Management is now forecasting 17 per cent earnings growth for FY23, in line with expectations. US Fed Governor Chris Waller today suggested further rate hikes were to come after noting that even longer-term interest rates remain negative in real terms due to the high level of current inflation.
Elders share price deep dive on Rask
US market weakens, staff cuts grow, gas supplies recover
All three benchmarks reversed early gains ultimately closely slightly lower on Monday with the Dow Jones down 0.6 per cent, the S&P500 0.9 and the Nasdaq 1.2 per cent. The result comes after an incredible week in which markets were buoyed by lower-than-expected inflation data, which still remains above 7 per cent.
Retention of power by the Democrats in the mid-terms help deliver more confidence around policy while news that gas storage in Europe was improved has reduced the level of uncertainty. Shares in Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META) gained around 1 per cent after the company began the process of laying off 13 per cent of its workforce.
It was a similar story for Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) which also announced they would be cutting their workforce by 10,000 people focused on the technology part of its business. Chinese equities also remain in the green with the likes of Baidu (NYSE: BIDU) and Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) up 4 and 1 per cent on a further easing of COVID-19 rules in the country.