• Local shares inched lower in the afternoon to a flattish close
  • Wesfarmers’s plan to acquire Laser Silk thwarted by little-known company
  • China’s purchase of Australian coal surged in April


The ASX 200 closed flattish on Tuesday with Tech stocks leading the gains, offset by losses in Staples stocks.

Elsewhere, the Biden-McCarthy debt ceiling talk has ended without a deal.

“The tone tonight was better than any other time we have had discussions,” McCarthy said to reporters afterward.

Meanwhile Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned once again that it’s “highly likely” her department would run out of cash and default by June 1st if the ceiling isn’t lifted.


China’s purchase of Aussie coal surges

China is buying more Australian coal, with export shipments at highest since China slapped a ban in autumn of 2020.

According to data from Chinese customs reported by Bloomberg, Australian cargoes in April of thermal coal surged 75% from the prior month to 3.89 million tonnes.

That puts Australia’s share of imports to at 10% of all Chinese thermal coal imports, which is almost double the level seen in March.

On a broader geopolitical level however, it remains to be seen if the olive branches between China and the Albanese Australian Government will amount to a total thawing of the frosty relations between the trading partners

NOW READ: Bulk Buys: China’s return to Australian coal market to be a slow moving beast



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Tech leaders WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) and Xero (ASX:XRO) tracked the rally in Nasdaq overnight.

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) was left surprised after little known Hong Kong-based EC Healthcare thwarted its takeover plans of Adelaide-based skin care chain SILK Laser Australia (ASX: SLA).

At $3.15 a share, Wesfarmers had the deal all but stitched up before EC offered an all-cash offer of $3.35 a share. The SLA share price rose 11%, while WES fell -0.8%.

Technology One (ASX:TNE) reported its 14th year of record first half profit, with Profit After Tax of $41.3m, up 24% on pcp. Interim dividend was 4.62cps, up 10% on pcp. TNE expects strong growth for the full year FY23, and the company sees significant growth opportunities in the coming years.



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Qantas (ASX:QAN) fell almost 2% today after providing the market with an update.

The airlines said it expects Underlying Profit Before Tax of between $2,425 million – $2,475 million for FY23.

Flying activity has increased in the second half as new aircraft arrive, more widebody jets have returned from long- term storage and operational reliability improves.

Domestic capacity will be above pre-COVID levels at 104% by the end of 2H23, led by a significant increase in flying on key routes between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

International capacity meanwhile will grow to greater than 80% of pre-COVID levels by the end of 2H23, with the rate of increase slightly below plan due to some supply issues.

Qantas announced that its on-market buy-back has increased by up to $100 million, and it is on-track to share benefits of recovery with employees.