ASX 0.7% lower as investors await RBA's interest rate decision

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.7 per cent lower at 7,165.50 as traders await the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision at 2.30pm.

Consumer discretionary, staples, and financials sectors reported losses. Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) shares have fallen 1.2 per cent. Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN) have dropped 2.5 per cent. Baby Bunting (ASX:BBN) have tumbled 20.5 per cent after it downgraded expectations on FY23 profit. Woolworths (ASX:WOW) have fallen 1 per cent.

a2 milk (ASX:A2M) was an exception, with shares rallying 4.1 per cent after the dairy producer received a green light on re-registration from Chinese authorities.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 53 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 0.53 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, down 1.23 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), trading 3.87 per cent higher at $6.17. It is followed by shares in Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL) and Xero (ASX:XRO).

The worst-performing large cap is EBOS Group (ASX:EBO), trading 14.18 per cent lower at $32.50. It is followed by shares in ASX (ASX:ASX) and Ampol (ASX:ALD).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets were largely lower on Tuesday, tracking moves on Wall Street after the S&P 500 erased earlier gains that brought the benchmark index to trade at its highest level on an intraday basis in nine months.

Markets are “catching their breath after Friday’s broad-based rally,” said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at the Carson Group. “It’s a very lacklustre news day, which isn’t a bad thing as we consolidate some of those big recent gains we’ve had.”

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 bucked the trend and continues its run above the 32,000 mark, gaining 0.18 per cent, although the Topix was marginally lower.

The last time the Nikkei traded at these levels, Japan was in the middle of its bubble economy — a period from 1986 to 1991 where real estate prices and stock prices were hugely inflated. The Nikkei reached its all-time high of just above 38,900 in December 1989.

South Korea’s markets are closed Tuesday for a holiday.

Company news

Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) has been awarded a supply contract with Chemist Warehouse. CEO Vikesh Ramsunder commented: “The contract allows us to leverage our highly automated distribution centres and latent spare capacity after multiple years of investment.” Shares are trading 22.4 per cent higher at 78 cents.

Musgrave Minerals (ASX:MGV) is being taken over in an all-scrip off market takeover offer for all of the issued outstanding shares by Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX). Westgold Managing Director Wayne Bramwell said: “The combination of Musgrave’s assets with our regional infrastructure and operating teams will fast track and de-risk the development of Musgrave’s Cue Gold Project.” Shares are trading 15.7 per cent higher at 30 cents.

Adavale Resources (ASX:ADD) has revealed that massive nickel sulphides have been intersected at their nickel project in Tanzania. Technical Director, John Hicks commented: “With a second diamond drilling rig currently being mobilised to site, Adavale is well positioned to advance drilling its priority targets.” Shares are trading 106.3 per cent higher at 3 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1975.40 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.5 per cent higher at US$109.00 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.32 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.23 US cents.

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