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Morning Update: All Ordinaries (INDEXASX: XAO) finishes higher

Another 4% fall in the price of iron ore was almost enough to drive the S&P/ASX200 (INDEXASX: XJO) lower, with the materials sector falling 0.7% to open the week.

Both BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO) fell by more than 1%, while the technology sector boosted the market to a small gain of 0.1%.

The 1.9% gain was driven by a number of stock specific updates, but primarily a 2% jump in accounting platform Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) and a 1.5% increase in WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC).

In company specific news, Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) shares are now trading close to a 12 month low after the company announced another $280 million in unexpected costs.

Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN)

The first $80 million will be focused on ‘customer improvement’ costs while the group expects a $200 million hit from the unexpected jump in oil prices in recent months.

Allkem Ltd (ASX: AKE) sinks on cost blowout

Lithium miner Allkem Ltd (ASX: AKE) fell by more than 3% after management reported a significant cost blowout on three major production projects, totalling US$413 million.

Allkem Ltd (ASX: AKE)

The driver was higher employment costs and construction material inflation. Dairy giant Synlait Milk Ltd (ASX: SM1) rallied 1.3% after the company posted a narrower than expected loss of $4 million. The result comes amid ongoing pressure between Synlait and A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) regarding an exclusivity agreement.

Skin treatment group Polynovo Ltd (ASX: PNV) shares finished more than 3% higher after trading as strongly as 10%, after the company delivered a doubling of revenue to $7.7 million in August alone.

Shares in casino operator Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR) were once again in a trading halt as the company prepares a $750 million equity raising. This comes after confirming a debt package of $450 million, the aim of which is to eliminate the majority of the companies outstanding loans.

US markets rally despite spiking yields

All three US benchmarks rallied on Monday, starting the week fresh after a difficult September.

The Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ: NDAQ) and S&P500 (INDEXSP: .INX) both gained 0.4%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX: .DJI) lagged, adding 0.1%, with each succumbing to the pressure of a 10-year bond yield that now exceeds the peak of October 2007.

The spike in yields has been driven by communication from the Federal Reserve suggesting rate cuts were highly unlikely in 2024, but we have of course heard this message before from central banks. Traders are also concerned about another Government shutdown, which is just several weeks away.

On the positive side, news that union leaders had reached a tentative deal Hollywood studios to and the writers strike wasn’t enough to boost the likes of Warner Bros (NYSE: WB) or Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS), thus far at least.

Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS)

Shares in Chinese property developers China Evergrande Group (HKG: 3333) and China Aoyuan Group Ltd (HKG: 3883) fell 21% and 71% after a planned restructured deal was abandoned.

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At the time of publishing, the author or their clients may have a financial interest in some of companies or securities mentioned.

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Wattle Partners is a financial advice firm, servicing clients around Australia, specialising in retirement planning (pre and post retirement). 

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