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Afternoon Update: Santos, BHP report robust results

The ASX is showing positive momentum, rising by 0.17 per cent to reach a level of 7,336. The SPI futures are also indicating an upward trend with a gain of 10 points, suggesting a favourable outlook for future trading.

Among the sectors, the Financials sector has emerged as the best performer, experiencing a growth of 0.53 per cent. Conversely, the Health Care sector has faced some challenges, with a decline of 0.3 per cent.

In company news, the big stories are coming from reporting season.

Santos (ASX:STO) has reported robust financial and operational performance in Q2 2023. The company achieved an impressive sales revenue of AU$1.3 billion, successfully launched the Spartan project, generated AU$400 million in free cash flow, and made significant progress in their decarbonization efforts. Shares are currently down 0.2 per cent.

Additionally, BHP (ASX:BHP) has released its operational review for the financial year 2023, highlighting production achievements, financial performance, portfolio developments, and commitment to safety and sustainability. Notable achievements include record iron ore production, strategic acquisitions, and investments, as well as a strong dedication to decarbonisation and sustainability. Shares are currently up 0.24 per cent.

QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) have also reported.

And Telstra (ASX:TLS) has announced its decision to cut 472 jobs as part of its T25 strategy, aiming to automate operations, achieve cost savings of $500 million, and enhance competitiveness in the market against software-based communications firms. The focus will be on the enterprise division, with an emphasis on optimising work processes and improving customer experiences.

Turning to the Asian markets, the Nikkei in Japan has experienced a decline of 1.05 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.28 per cent. The Shanghai Composite in China has made marginal gains of 0.03 per cent.

In the commodities market, the price of gold is currently trading at US$1,987.80 (nineteen hundred and eighty seven and eighty cents) per ounce. Light crude oil has seen a slight increase of $0.06, reaching US$75.41 per barrel.

As for currency exchange rates, one Australian dollar is currently buying 68.35 US cents.