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Miners, energy producers help shares outpace global peers

At the closing bell, benchmark WTI US oil futures fetched $US80.33 a barrel. Brent crude was at $US87.80. Base and precious metal prices edged marginally higher over the trading day. Gold was up 0.4 per cent to $US1746 an ounce and copper climbed 0.4 per cent to $US3.59 a pound.

The oil price’s gain helped $73 billion oil and gas giant Woodside Petroleum jump 2.9 per cent to $38.43. Santos closed up 2.2 per cent.

Coal miners also surged as the benchmark Newcastle thermal coal price added 2.2 per cent to $US351 a tonne, according to Trading Economics. NSW-based Whitehaven Coal lifted 7.8 per cent to $9.11 and New Hope was up 7.3 per cent to $5.77.

Rate rise threat

The interest rate sensitive utilities and real estate sectors were among the weaker performers as investors eyed the prospect of more rate increases from the US Federal Reserve and Australia’s Reserve Bank in December.

Mr Bassanese said: “Bigger picture – we’ve still got the US Federal Reserve trying its hardest to talk down the market in its commentary this week. They look to have acknowledged they’re only going to raise rates by 50 basis points in December, rather than 75 [basis points], but I think the Fed don’t want the market to get too excited, so they still like to point to the idea that rates are going to get to around 5 per cent next year.”

Company news, crypto wobbles

In company news, Brisbane-based software group Technology One reported a net profit up 22 per cent to $88.8 million on total sales up 18 per cent to $369.4 million for the financial year ending September 30, 2022. As at the period end, it had cash on hand of $175.9 million.

Chief executive Ed Chung said:  ”Our legacy as a company has always been the ability to transform and innovate. We have doubled in size every five years and are well on track to surpass our current target $500 million of [annual recurring revenue] by 2026.” 

Technology One shares finished up 5.3 per cent to $13.01 as the result topped analysts’ forecasts.

Elsewhere, Sydney casino operator Star said revenues were down 11 per cent for the first four months of financial 2023 as cross-harbour rival Crown Resorts challenges it in the luxury entertainment market.

Star Sydney suffered the dent to its bottom line just as its Pyrmont casino licence was suspended. Remediation costs for its regulatory hit are to be in the range of $35 million to $45 million in the 2023 financial year. 

Cryptocurrency prices also remained under pressure on Tuesday as Australian-founded green bitcoin miner Iris Energy flagged it would default on $US107.8 million of debt in a dispute with US creditor New York Digital Investment Group.

The stock plunged 18 per cent on the news and is now down 94.5 per cent over a horror year that has inflicted heavy losses on backers including Phil King’s Regal Asset Management, Platinum Asset Management, Alex Waislitz’s Thorney Opportunities, Mike Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures, Wilson Asset Management, and OC Funds Management.

Bitcoin changed hands for $US15,817 on Tuesday afternoon amid rumours crypto broker Genesis will need to raise $US1 billion in capital to continue operations. 

On Tuesday, New Zealand’s trade deficit swelled to a fresh record $NZ12.9 billion ($11.9 billion) in the year ended October 31.

On Wednesday, New Zealand’s central bank is expected to raise interest rates by an unprecedented 75 basis points, accelerating its monetary tightening to get inflation under control. The potential move would take the official cash rate to 4.25 per cent from 3.5 per cent.

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