ASX closes 0.07% higher despite worrying food inflation data

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

Reports from UBS show that food prices at Australia’s largest supermarket chains, Coles and Woolworths, jumped by 9.2 per cent in the December quarter, up from 8.2 per cent in the previous 3 months.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.07 per cent higher at 7,457.30.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 22 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 4.5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 14 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 4 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 1.3 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Utilities, down 0.5 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), closing 6.15 per cent higher at $4.83. It was followed by shares in Allkem (ASX:AKE) and IGO (ASX:IGO).

The worst-performing large cap was Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation (ASX:FPH), closing 2.84 per cent lower at $23.63. It was followed by shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) and Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ).

Asian news

Japan's Nikkei has gained 1.31 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 1.82 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 2.66 per cent.

Company news

Conico (ASX:CNJ) has announced outstanding cobalt, nickel and scandium results at their Mt Thirsty joint venture with Greenstone Resources (ASX:GSR). In response, Managing Director and CEO from Greenstone commented, ““These most recent results continue to highlight the prospectivity of the Mt Thirsty project and, importantly, the suite of target commodities, all of which serve to play a critical role in the continued decarbonisation of our economy.” Shares closed 106 per cent higher at 1.9 cents.

Sezzle (ASX:SZL) announced a December Business update for the month ended December 31st, 2022. The company reported strong revenue growth and profitability for December, with total income increasing 15.7 per cent year on year, reaching a new high of US$13.6M. In response, Charlie Youakim, Sezzle’s Chairman and CEO stated, “We are excited, as we have shown investors that we are clearly on the path to profitability with a well-capitalised balance sheet that does not require additional capital.” Shares closed 32.4 per cent higher at 71.5 cents.

Rare-X (ASX:REE) announced outstanding New 500m and 280m Intercepts at their Cummins Range Rare earth projects. In response, RareX Managing Director, Jeremy Robinson, said: “We are now closing-in on what is expected to be a highly significant resource upgrade for Cummins Range, with the latest drilling results clearly highlighting the enormous scale of the rare earths-phosphate mineralisation. Shares closed 13.5 per cent at 5.9 cents.

The 3rd dose cohort of Chimeric Therapeutics' (ASX:CHM) CHM 1101 (CLTX CAR T) cell therapy phase 1 clinical trial has completed successfully, with all patients advancing past the 28-day safety follow up period without experiencing any dose-limiting toxicities. The patients in the 3rd dose cohort received a total dose of 240 X 106 CHM 1101 (CLTX CAR T) cells through dual routes of intratumoral (ICT) and intraventricular (ICV) administration. The phase 1 clinical trial will now advance to the 4th and final dose cohort with dual routes of administration at a total dose of 440 X 106 CHM 1101 (CLTX CAR T) cells. Shares closed 1.83 per cent lower at 8.1 cents.

TerraCom (ASX:TER), an ASX listed company, has presented its quarterly activities report for the three months ending December 31, 2022. The report highlights that the company has seen a 5 per cent increase in total coal sales compared to the prior corresponding period, and an operating EBITDA of $150 million for the December quarter. Additionally, the report notes that Blair Athol (BA) is on track to deliver forecast coal sales of 2.2Mt for the 12 months ending June 30, 2023 and achieved an operating EBITDA of $112.2 million. Comments from Managing Director, Danny McCarthy include ““Coal prices remained buoyant allowing TerraCom to deliver another solid result for the December Quarter with a combined operating EBITDA3 result of $150 million being achieved from the Australian and South African operations.” Shares closed 3.38 per cent lower at $1.00.

LBT Innovations (ASX:LBT), an Australian medical technology company specializing in artificial intelligence automation, has released its quarterly cashflow report and business update for the quarter ended December 31, 2022. The report highlights that the company has secured over $3 million in non-dilutive funding for strategic product development and has initiated product development for a new $10 billion pharmaceutical microbial quality control testing market with AstraZeneca and Thermo Fisher. Additionally, the report notes that the company has raised $0.5 million from eligible shareholders through an entitlement offer and had a cash balance of $2.5 million plus $1.0 million in near term receivables as of December 31, 2022. Brent Barnes, CEO and Managing Director said: “In the past 3 months, the Company has made significant progress against the delivery of both our go-to-market and product pipeline strategies. Securing agreements with AstraZeneca and Thermo Fisher takes time, as they go through their internal Page 4 of 4 due diligence and approval processes. Shares closed 5.63 per cent higher at 7.5 cents.

Novatti Group (ASX:NOV), a leading fintech that enables businesses to pay and be paid, is pleased to announce that an anti-money laundering fintech project it will lead, has been approved for a $2.3 million grant under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) Grants program. Managing Director of Novatti, Peter Cook, said: “Concerns over cybersecurity have greatly increased over recent years where it has become the most critical corporate risk. Shares last traded 7.50 per cent higher at $21.5.

The Australian Foundation Investments's (ASX:AFI) half-year results for the period ending December 2022 show a 12.2 per cent increase in profit after tax compared to the prior corresponding period. Revenue from operating activities also increased by 10.1 per cent. The company will be paying an interim dividend of 11 cents per share, fully franked, which is an increase from the previous year. Shares last traded 0.93 per cent higher at $7.57.

ABx Group (ASX:ABX) advises that, in response to recent high-grade results, ABx has commenced its drilling campaign ahead of schedule at its Deep Leads and Rubble Mound rare earth element (REE) discoveries in northern Tasmania. ABx Group CEO Dr Mark Cooksey said: “I am delighted to report that our first drilling campaign for 2023 has kicked off ahead of schedule. This is a critical campaign in understanding the potential scale of ABx’s REE domain in northern Tasmania.” Shares last traded 8.70 per cent higher at 12.5 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,928.80 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.4 per cent higher at US$126.65 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.76 per cent rise.
Light crude is trading $0.28 lower at US$81.36 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.82 US cents.

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