All sectors trading lower: ASX down 0.76% at noon

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.76 per cent lower at 6,962.60, with all 11 sectors experiencing losses. Materials performed the worst, dropping by 1.6 per cent.

Panoramic Resources (ASX:PAN) was the best performing stock, with its shares rising by 14.8 per cent to 0.155 cents, while Polynovo (ASX:PNV) shares experienced the biggest decline, down by 13.8 per cent to $1.785. BHP Group (ASX:BHP) also fell by 1.2 per cent to $43.31 per share.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 57 points.

Best and worst performers

All sectors are in the red. The sector with the fewest losses is Utilities, down 0.04 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Materials, down 1.6 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), trading 2.23 per cent higher at $11.47. It is followed by shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM).

The worst-performing large cap is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), trading 4.86 per cent lower at $3.425. It is followed by shares in Allkem (ASX:AKE) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG).

Asian markets

Asia-Pacific markets fell on Thursday, following Wall Street reaction overnight after the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked rates by another 25 basis points.
The central bank’s kept its terminal rate forecast at 5.1 per cent, which means that only one more rate hike is expected this year before rates peak.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 shed 0.86 per cent and the Topix slid 1.07 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi was 0.67 per cent lower, with the Kosdaq down 0.24 per cent.
However, the Hang Seng index looks set to buck the trend and open higher, with Hang Seng futures at 19,762 compared to the index’s last close at 19,591.43.

Fed hikes rates 25bp, Powell pushes back on rate-cut expectations

As expected, the Fed today approved a 25bp rate hike to 4.75-5.00 per cent, in line with consensus after a couple of weeks of shifting expectations. Statement softened line about potential future increases and adding a section saying full effect of banking crisis yet to be determined. No changes were made to the Fed's balance-sheet rolloff policy and Powell said this was not discussed. SEP's dot plot was little changed, though the median 2024 dot rose slightly from December's edition. Also marked down 2023 and 2024 real GDP forecasts, and 2023 core PCE inflation expectations rose to 3.6 per cent from 3.5 per cent. In the follow-up press conference, Chair Powell noted that inflation pressures continue to run high, though the committee did debate a possible pause due to current uncertainties and the financial tightening they could spark. Also stressed rate cuts later this year (as reflected in market pricing) are not part of participants' base cases.

Company news

88 Energy Limited (ASX:88E) announced that the Hickory-1 surface hole was successfully drilled. The Company anticipates the primary and secondary target zones to be intersected within the next two weeks. Shares are trading 4.6 per cent higher at 1.2 cents.

Kuniko (ASX:KNI) has announced that exceptional cobalt mineralisation drill intersection and new shallow mineralised horizon has been observed at their Skuterud Project in Norway. In response, Antony Beckmand, CEO, commented, “ Our further drilling now is cause for excitement with these intersections having an abundance of visible cobalt mineralisation and delivering a new shallow horizon.” Shares are trading 12.4 per cent higher at 45.5 cents.

Argonaut Resources (ASX: ARE) has announced that Lithium drilling is underway at their Higginsville project in WA. All soil samples have now been submitted to the laboratory for analysis. Shares are trading 33.33 per cent higher at 0.2 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1782.70 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.6 per cent lower at US$121.40 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.2 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.83 US cents.

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