ASX edges higher as Coles, Woodside rally

With profit season nearing its end, the share market advanced for a fourths straight session on Tuesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

The Australian share market advanced for a fourth straight session on Tuesday with better-than-expected results from Coles and Woodside offsetting a dip in mining stocks.

At the closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 edged 0.1 per cent, or 10.2 points, higher to 7,663, while the broader All Ordinaries fared slightly better, adding 0.2 per cent to 7,922.2.

Six of the 11 industry sectors finished in the green, led by consumer staples, up 2.2 per cent.

The share market was buoyed by supermarket giant Coles which reported better-than-expected first-half results. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

The materials stocks slumped 0.4 per cent, closing at its lowest level mid-November, after iron ore prices slipped overnight due to higher stock levels in China and fears of slowing construction activity.

Real estate stocks were the worst performers, dipping 0.8 per cent. Goodman Group fell 0.6 per cent to $28.77, Stockland slipped 1.1 per cent to $4.47, and Mirvac fell 1.8 per cent to $2.16.

Amid news of further shipping disruptions in the Red Sea, energy stocks added 0.5 per cent to track gains in crude oil prices. Sector heavyweight Woodside added 0.9 per cent to $30.28 after underlying net profit in 2023 of $US3.32bn ($5.1bn) eclipsed consensus forecasts of $US3.09bn ($4.7bn).

Even as profits slipped 8.4 per cent, shares in the country’s second largest supermarket retailer Coles Group rose 5.5 per cent to $16.75. The firm reported a 3.7 per cent jump in group sales to $22.22bn, driven by easing supply chain bottlenecks, product discounts and promotions.

Bathroom and plumbing supplier Reece vaulted 18.3 per cent to $28.50 after the firm reported a 24 per cent jump in first-half profits to $224 million. Revenue rose 2.5 per cent to $4.53bn.

The country’s largest childcare centre operator G8 Education soared 11.6 per cent to $1.25, its highest close since April 2023. The firm reported full-year net profit after tax of $56.1 million, up 53.1 per cent.

Telix Pharmaceuticals jumped 6.8 per cent to $11.70 after the biopharmaceutical company entered into an agreement with Texas-based IsoTherapeutics Group.

Healius sunk 8.7 per cent to $1.27 after announcing a $636 million loss in the second half of 2023. The embattled pathology provider sustained a significant impairment to goodwill in its pathology division of $603.2 million.

Listed construction firm John Lyng Group was the biggest laggard on the index, slipping 13.2 per cent to $6.26 after reporting a drop in first-half profits to $23.4 million, falling short of analysts’ expectations.

Cement manufacturer Adbri added 2 per cent to $3.14. The local building products company has entered a binding agreement with Irish building materials provider CRH under which Adbri will be bought out for $2.1bn.

After sinking 3.1 per cent during Monday’s session, Dan Murphy’s and BWS parent Endeavour Group rallied 5.1 per cent to $5.34.