• ASX swung from positive to negative, closing the day modestly lower
  • Aussie CPI came in higher than expected, complicating RBA’s policy
  • Large caps to update quarterly earnings today include ALD, SUL, WOW and BPT


The ASX 200 seesawed on Wednesday, eventually closing lower by -0.1% following the unexpected September inflation reading.

According to the ABS, Australia’s monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicator rose 5.6% in the 12 months to September 2023, hitting its highest level in five months and snapping economist forecasts for a 5.4% increase.

September’s figure also accelerated for the second straight month following a 5.2% gain in August. Headline inflation fell to 5.4% YoY from 6% previously, but still above the consensus forecast of 5.3%.

The inflation figure was boosted by higher petrol prices, adding to pressure on the RBA to hike interest rates again.

Yesterday, Michelle Bullock used her maiden speech as RBA governor to warn that the central bank won’t hesitate to restart hiking rates if there is a risk of inflation rising.

“It is possible that this can be done with the cash rate at its current level but there are risks that could see inflation return to target more slowly than currently forecast,” she said.

To the ASX, gains in Mining and Comm Services stocks were offset by losses in Staples and Real Estate.

The Staples sector was dragged down by Woolworths (ASX:WOW), which fell 2% following its Q1 update (see more below).

Iron ore and lithium miners meanwhile rallied on the back of higher commodity prices overnight.

Elsewhere, Asian stocks also rallied after Chinese president Xi Jinping stepped up his support for China’s economy by agreeing to adjust the company’s national budget mid-year, buoying optimism in markets.



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Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) rose 3% after announcing a $100 million on-market share buy-back. The company said it was implementing the buy-back program to enhance shareholder returns and complement its intentions to pay dividends in the future.

Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) surged 5% after LYC Malaysia was granted an amended operating licence in the Southeast Asian country, enabling the company to continue to import and process lanthanide concentrate until March 2026.

Ampol (ASX:ALD) surged 4% after reporting solid earnings for Q3, driven by higher refinery margins.

Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) rose modestly after reporting that its FY24-to-date (16 weeks) sales were 4% higher year-on-year. Like-for-like sales were also up 2%.



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Magellan Financial (ASX:MFG) dropped 4% after CEO David George announced his resignation. In the interim, board director Andrew Formica will assume the role of executive chairman as the fund manager looks for a replacement.

Woolworths (ASX:WOW) fell 2% after group sales for Q1 increased by 5.3% on pcp to $17.2 billion. The retailer’s Australian segment increased by 6.4%.

Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) fell slightly after reporting that production for the September quarter fell 10% to 4.5MMboe, and revenue by 12%, to $397m.

Property group Dexus (ASX:DXS) was down after CEO Darren Steinberg resigned after 11 years with the firm. The property fund also announced that during the September quarter, it has continued asset recycling, having settled $1.3 billion of balance sheet divestments since 30 June, $0.8 billion of which were factored in the 27.9% pro forma gearing at FY23.