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The Fair Work Commission moved to lift the minimum wage by 5.2% this morning, slightly above the expected 5.1% to increase a full-time employee by $40/week. Retailers, given their heavy award wage workforce, struggled in the lead-up to the announcement, but they outperformed for much of the session today with the ‘sell the rumour, buy the fact’ analogy playing out. Perhaps a lift in wages will bolster consumer confidence and lead to a lift in demand. That trade softened into the close, though staples held up reasonably well in the end. Consumer stocks were caught up in the risk-off selling ahead of the FOMC decision due out early morning local time tomorrow. Interestingly, Woolworths (WOW) also announced that they would freeze prices on a list of home brand everyday items until the end of the year due to rising inflation to ease the cost of living pressures on their customers.

MM remains long WOW
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Woolworths (WOW)
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