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Australia Market closes in green
(22 Sep 2023, 13:09)
Australia stock market recovered from an early slide to finish session marginally higher on Friday, 22 September 2023, snapping four days of losses, as investors chased for bargain buying, with shares in materials, industrial, energy, and utilities sectors being notable gainers.

At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 3.60 points, or 0.05%, to 7,068.84. The broader All Ordinaries index added 3.44 points, or 0.05%, to 7,270.04.

Total 6 of 11 sectors ended higher along with the S&P/ASX 200 Index. Utilities was the best performing sector, gaining +0.79%, while A-REIT was bottom performing sector, falling 1.48%.

The top performing stocks in S&P/ASX200 index were PILBARA MINERALS LIMITED and COSTA GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED, up 6.78% and 6.55% respectively. The bottom performing stocks in S&P/ASX200 index were IDP EDUCATION and REGIS RESOURCES, down 5.9% and 3.12% respectively.

Shares of utilities companies performed strongly, with Mercury NZ (up 4.1%), Meridian Energy (up 2.5%) and Treasury Wine Estates (up 2.6%) all closing higher.

Shares of materials climbed with Pilbara Minerals (up 6.8%) and Allkem (up 3.2%) among the biggest large-cap advancers. Iron ore heavyweights BHP (up 0.5%) and Fortescue (up 1.5%) also climbed up.

ECONOMIC NEWS: Australia's Private Sector Returns To Growth In September- The Judo Bank Flash Australia Composite PMI Output Index posted 50.2 in September, up from 48.0 in August. Climbing above the 50.0 no-change mark, the latest data indicated a return to expansion for Australia's private sector. Although marginal, the latest reading is consistent with the fastest increase in output since May.

Business activity in Australia's private sector returned to growth in September, owing to a renewed expansion in the service sector. Greater client interest pushed up overall new orders, while employment levels also rose. While the rate of input cost inflation remained unchanged in September, firms raised their selling prices at a slower rate amid reduced optimism on future output.

The Judo Bank Flash Australia Manufacturing PMI fell to 48.2 in September, from 49.6 in August, signaling continued deteriorating business conditions across the sector. Although modest, the latest decline was the fastest since June. A sharper fall in new orders led to manufacturing output shrinking for a tenth straight month in September. Consequently, firms reduced their purchasing activity and inventory holdings. Employment levels rose with some manufacturers still facing a shortage of labor to support ongoing operations.

The Judo Bank Flash Australia Services PMI Business Activity Index rose to 50.5 in September from 47.8 in August. Posting above the 50.0 no-change mark, the latest data was indicative of a renewal of services activity growth. Incoming new business, including new business from abroad, increased in September, contributing to higher services activity. In turn, firms raised their employment levels at a faster rate.

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