ASX up 0.12% at noon as investors await this afternoon's RBA meeting

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

Investors are cautious as they await the outcome of the Reserve Bank's meeting and examine local earnings updates. As a result, the Australian sharemarket remains mostly unchanged.

Consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level this year due to an expected ninth straight interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank and increasing inflationary pressures.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index dropped 3.2 percentage points to 83.6, with lower readings across all five mainland states, and weekly inflation expectations among Australians rose 0.3 percentage points to 5.4 per cent.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.12 per cent higher at 7,548.40.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 9 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is S&P/ASX 200 Utilities, up 0.95 per cent. The worst-performing sector is S&P/ASX 200 Cons Staples, down 0.72 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), trading 4.96 per cent higher at $8.88. It is followed by shares in New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) and Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL).

The worst-performing large cap is Reece (ASX:REH), trading 2.25 per cent lower at $16.76. It is followed by shares in Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation (ASX:FPH) and Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL).

Asian news

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific were set to trade mixed on Tuesday, after Wall Street extended losses as investors digested last week’s economic data that showed there’s more room for the Federal Reserve to hike rates further.

The Nikkei 225 gained 0.34 per cent and the Topix rose 0.31 per cent as the Bank of Japan reportedly plans to submit nominees for its next governor to parliaments next week, according to Kyodo. The Kospi in South Korea also rose 0.27 per cent and the Kosdaq gained 0.6 per cent.

Company news

C29 Metals (ASX:C29) advises that drilling at their Pocitos 7 project in Argentina has concluded at 420 metres, with a packer test intercepting a deep aquifer from 370-400 metres. In response, Director Jeremy King commented: “We are extremely pleased to intercept brines and have hit a 30m plus aquifer zone at Pocitos 7 and have such a healthy pump rate particularly given the size of the pipe and pump utilised.” Shares are trading 23.1 per cent higher at 24 cents.

EV Resources (ASX:EVR) announced that it has entered an agreement for a $25 million investment commitment from Sapphire Global Energy Fund. In response, EV Resources’ Executive Director Navin Sidhu commented, “This facility enables us to draw down when necessary, allowing us to better manage our funding needs, reduce dilution and not be at the mercy of the markets.” Shares are trading 46.7 per cent higher at 2.2 cents at noon

Memphasys (ASX:MEM) announced that their FelixTM System, an automated device for separating high-quality sperm from a semen sample for IVF procedures, has been found to outperform the most commonly used sperm preparation method. The peer-reviewed papers are expected to enhance commercialisation discussions. Shares are trading 13.3 per cent higher at 1.7 cents at noon.

Altech Chemicals (ASX:ATC) is updating on its Silumina Anodes pilot plant construction in Saxony, Germany and the Definitive Feasibility Study for the planned 10,000tpa plant. The construction of the pilot plant is progressing well with the front end largely completed and commissioning underway, while the long-lead back end equipment is being constructed in South Africa and is scheduled for installation and commissioning in mid-year. Shares are trading 1.06 per cent higher at 9.5 cents at noon.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1782.70 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.7 per cent lower at US$124.05 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.5 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 0.6896 US dollars.

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