• ASX extended gains on Wednesday, buoyed by iron ore stocks
  • Fortescue hits an all time high
  • Sigma Healthcare up 50pc after coming out of trading halt on Chemist Warehouse deal


The ASX 200 extended yesterday’s gains, up by another 0.3% on Wednesday.

A slump in the Energy sector was offset by rallies in the Healthcare and Real Estate sectors.

Energy stocks slumped after crude prices tumbled by 3% overnight, on concerns of oversupply.

The biggest mover today was Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG), which jumped by 70% minutes after coming out of its trading halt, before retreating to a 50% gain (see more details below).

Iron ore related stocks such as Fortescue (ASX:FMG) also rose today as iron ore prices continued to gain ground to more than $US135 a tonne.

Fortescue shares hit a record high, while fellow iron ore miners Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) also hit two-year highs.

Across the region, stocks in Asia dropped ahead of tonight’s Fed Reserve decision, the last one this year.

Chinese stocks in particular sold off after a top leadership meeting disappointed investors with a lack of any announcement regarding economic support measures.



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Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) rose 50% today after coming out of a trading halt.

On Monday, Sigma  confirmed one of the market’s worst kept secrets – it’s planning on merging with Chemist Warehouse and will undertake a $400 million entitlement offer.

The company will acquire Chemist Warehouse through a cash-and-scrip deal with CWG shareholders receiving $700 million in cash combined with SIG shares, leading to their ownership of 85.75% of the merged entity (MergeCo), pending various approvals, including from the competition regulator ACCC.

HMC Capital (ASX:HMC), the fund manager which owns a stake in Sigma, rose 1.5%.



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Lithium stock IGO (ASX:IGO) fell after providing an update on its Cosmos Project.

IGO has been conducting a review on the project, which commenced in mid 2023 following IGO’s impairment of the assets acquired from Western Areas.

While the review has not yet concluded, IGO said it will transition to an ore-trucking operation in the interim, rather than utilise a mechanised materials handling system as previously planned.

“As a result, construction on this part of the project has been halted. Regretfully, there will be an impact to some roles, however, IGO is working on redeployments within the IGO business and is providing all the necessary support to our people through this process,” the company said.

IGO said that it is likely to record a further impairment against the Cosmos assets in the company’s first half FY24 results.

Air New Zealand (ASX:AIZ) dropped after downgrading its guidance. The airline now expects first-half earnings for FY24 to be around the bottom end of its $180 million to $230 million range initially provided on 12 October.