Oil prices reached their lowest closing level since Dec 2021: ASX 0.07% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.07 per cent higher at 7,127.70. The Australian sharemarket experienced a decline of over 2 percent, mainly due to the energy sector's poor performance. This decline was triggered by a drop in global oil prices, which reached their lowest level since December 2021.

During Asian trade on Tuesday, Brent futures showed a slight increase of 0.4 percent, indicating a potential rebound after three consecutive days of losses. The previous day saw a significant drop of 3.9 percent, with oil prices falling to $71.84 per barrel.

The decline in oil prices can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, concerns about demand in China have been raised, as recent trade data suggests a disappointing recovery for the world's leading oil importer. Additionally, Bloomberg reports indicate that the sluggishness of the US economy and increased Russian exports have added further downward pressure on prices. Despite Saudi Arabia's announcement of production cuts in an effort to boost prices, the market continues to face challenges.

As a result of these developments, several energy companies' shares experienced declines in the Australian sharemarket. Woodside shares dropped by 2.3 percent to $33.93, Santos saw a 2.4 percent loss, and Beach Energy fell by 1.1 percent within the first 30 minutes of trading.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 33 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 3.02 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 1.32 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC), trading 4.02 per cent higher at $78.93. It is followed by shares in NEXTDC (ASX:NXT) and Xero (ASX:XRO).

The worst-performing large cap is Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL), trading 3.41 per cent lower at $4.53. It is followed by shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets largely rose on Tuesday ahead of the U.S. inflation report and Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting later in the day – the central bank is widely expected to hold rates for the first time in 15 months while inflation’s annual outlook marked a two-year low in the latest New York Fed survey.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was 1.61 per cent higher and reached new 2023-highs, while the Topix was 1.05 per cent higher.

South Korea’s Kospi rebounded and rose 0.31 per cent, with the Kosdaq also up 0.89 per cent. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 came back from a public holiday and rose marginally.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index snapped a four-day winning streak to start Tuesday down 0.47 per cent, while mainland Chinese markets were more mixed. The Shanghai Composite was down 0.2 per cent, while the Shenzhen Component was up marginally.

Company news

Altech Batteries (ASX:ATC, FRA:A3Y) announced the release of preliminary battery specifications for its CERENERGY battery products. This enables the company to initiate discussions with potential off-take partners. Shares are trading 1.08 per cent higher at 9.4 cents.

Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) announced broad intersections of high-grade lithium mineralisation. Azure’s MD Mr Tony Rovira said: “These results highlight the exceptional thickness and high grades of lithium mineralisation within the Andover pegmatites.” Shares are trading 36 per cent higher at 85 cents.

Tesserent (ASX:TNT) has entered into a scheme implementation deed with Thales Australia Holdings to acquire 100 per cent of their shares for $0.13 per share. Chairman of Tesserent, Geoff Lord, said: “Tesserent’s customers are expected to benefit from Thales’ enhanced product suite, global service capabilities and the acceleration of Tesserent’s existing growth.” Shares are trading 145 per cent higher at 12 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1971.70 an ounce.
Iron ore is 3.6 per cent lower at US$112.40 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.25 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.47 US cents.

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