Eyes await the new BNPL laws: ASX up 0.57% at noon

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

The Treasury is expected to release a discussion paper today on the BNPL sector. The paper is likely to outline that Australia’s current buy now, pay later providers would need to obtain a credit licence and satisfy certain lending obligations.

Overall, Industrials is the only sector in the red, and Energy is surging 2 per cent. All other sectors are trading slightly higher, all up by under one per cent.

Energy has seen a big boost from its coal players, with Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL) and New Hope Group (ASX:NHC) up 8.05 per cent, 5.12 per cent and 6.51 per cent, respectively.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.57 per cent or 41.00 points higher at 7180.30.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 47 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, up 1.86 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is Industrials, up 0.11 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK), trading 12.80 per cent higher at $2.87. It is followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Block (ASX:SQ2), trading 3.93 per cent lower at $93.92. It is followed by shares in De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) and Bapcor (ASX:BAP).

Asian News

Asian equities are mostly mixed today. The Nikkei is making new highs after a positive start while Korean stocks are trading slightly lower. Hang Seng futures have weakened ahead of the open of the China market.

So far, Nikkei is up 0.83 per cent, whilst the Kospi is down 0.22 per cent.

Quiet Monday:

Quiet Monday session to kick off a holiday shortened week. China Covid trends a key area of concern. Follows recent excitement about some relaxation of control and prevention measures. Stronger dollar is also a headwind on risk sentiment. Energy selloff an overhang though crude only slightly lower after falling 5%+ on the OPEC+ supply increase headlines, which the Saudis later refuted. Big tech weakness is another area of scrutiny with recent focus on economic normalisation and macro headwinds. Fedspeak seems a bit more dovish with both Bostic and Daly talking about a ~5% terminal rate. Nothing incremental when it comes to the other higher-profile themes. Bulls focused on peak inflation momentum, expected slowdown in pace of Fed tightening, consumer resilience, seasonality and inflows/renewed FOMO talk. Bears focused on Fed wariness about loosening financial conditions, upside risk to terminal rate, higher-for-longer rate messaging, negative earnings revisions trends, recession signalling from curve inversion and no longer depressed positioning.

Galan Lithium Limited (ASX:GLN) provided an update on the various evaluation workstreams in progress on its 100%-owned Hombre Muerto West Project (HMW Project) in Catamarca Province, Argentina. The highlights include outstanding results from the second long-term pump test at HMW (PBRS-01-21) and a steady flow delivery of 25 L/s at average 967 mg/L Li grade for 30+ days. Galan’s Managing Director, JP Vargas de la Vega, commented, “The Galan team continues to drive the HMW Project forward at pace. The HMW Project has the highest grade and lowest impurity lithium brine in Argentina.” Shares are trading 3.46 per cent higher at $1.495.

Kingston Resources Limited (ASX:KSN) (Kingston or the Company) is pleased to report that it has been successful with its application for Stream 1 of the Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund – Project Activation Studies. The $130 million fund is designed to accelerate investment and deliver on the NSW Government’s vision to position the state as a major global supplier and processor of critical minerals and high-tech metals. Commenting on the co-funding, Kingston Resources Managing Director Andrew Corbett said: “We are delighted to have been successful in receiving funding from Stream 1 of the NSW Government’s Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund for our final stage of SOZ development studies at Mineral Hill. Shares are trading 3.16 per cent higher at $0.098.

Chrysos Corporation Ltd (ASX:C79) has announced Chrysos Managing Director and CEO Dirk Treasure, Chrysos Chief Technology Officer Dr James Tickner, and Dr Nick Cutmore, former Research Director / Program Manager at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, have received the Prize for Innovation in the 2022 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. All three recipients are recognised for the successful development and commercialisation of PhotonAssayTM technology which delivers faster, safer, more accurate and environmentally-friendly analysis of gold, silver, copper and other elements. Shares are trading flat at $3.08.

Radiopharm Theranostics (ASX:RAD), a developer of a world-class platform of radiopharmaceutical products for both diagnostic and therapeutic uses, announced an agreement with Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) to supply the Company with isotope non-carrier-added lutetium-177 (Lu-177) for its trials in Australia. “ANSTO is committed to work that improves human health and saves lives through technologies for diagnostic, therapeutic and innovative treatments for current and emerging diseases,” said Shaun Jenkinson, CEO of ANSTO. Shares are trading flat at $0.115.

Novatti Group Limited (ASX:NOV) (Novatti or Company), a leading fintech that enables businesses to pay and be paid, is pleased to announce that it has now received a $12.8m special dividend from its 19.9% strategic stake in Reckon Limited (ASX: RKN). The special dividend of $0.57 per share, 60% franked, was announced by Reckon Limited on 27 October 2022 and has been distributed from the $100m sale of its Accountants Practice Management Group (APMG). Novatti’s Managing Director, Peter Cook, said: “This partnership continues to be supported by clear synergies between our respective accounting and payments solutions. Importantly, our joint marketing efforts for this partnership are gaining traction, bringing through new prospects and customers.” Shares are trading 1.85 per cent higher at $0.275.

ImpediMed Limited (ASX:IPD), today announced a reorganisation to better align management and the organisational structure within the commercial goals of the Company. The functional reorganisation results in very clear accountability and strategic alignment to drive key initiatives such as reimbursement and revenue enhancement. As a part of the reorganisation, a number of people have left the organisation, but employees in key focus areas were largely unaffected. Shares are trading 2.13 per cent lower at $0.092.

Besra Gold (ASX:BEZ) has today announced exceptional high and bonanza grade gold intercepts at their Bekajang project in Malaysia. A second round of drilling will commence shortly to follow up on the potential implications of the exceptional grades intercepted. In response, CEO, Dr. Ray Shaw commented, “the potential implications of the exceptional grades intercepted during our recent drilling, demand priority follow-up, and may lead to a fundamental revision and upgrade of Bekajang’s potential.” Shares are trading 85 per cent higher at $0.074.

Audeara Limited (ASX:AUA) announced that it has received a binding commitment for an A$2.8m placement with a strategic investor, Mr. David Lin the CEO of Clinico Inc. The Company has agreed to issue 28,000,000 shares at a price of $0.10 per share which is subject to shareholder approval. In response, Audeara’s Managing Director Dr. James Fielding, commented, “ Audeara has previously announced a working relationship with Clinico in Taiwan and looks forward to the strengthening of this relationship to expand business opportunities in Asia.” Shares are trading 1.23 per cent higher at $0.082.

PlaySide Studios Limited (ASX:PLY) announced the signing of a game development agreement with Meta Platforms Technologies. Meta engaged PlaySide to design and develop a mixed reality interactive software product for its Quest suite of virtual reality devices. In response, Playside’s CEO, Gerry Sakkas, stated, “Meta is bringing virtual reality and mixed reality into the mainstream with its Quest suite of products, and we are excited about the opportunity to demonstrate our domain expertise with this game. Shares are trading 14.29 per cent higher at $0.68.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1741.49 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.9 per cent lower at US$96.25 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.20 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.17 US cents.

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