ASX down 0.47% at noon as RBA indicates further rate hikes are possible

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

The Reserve Bank released minutes from its July 6 policy meeting, indicating the possibility of further rate increases depending on upcoming data, including inflation figures to be reported on July 26.

The bank emphasised the need to bring inflation back to target but acknowledged the time required for the economy and labour market to adjust to previous rate rises.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.47 per cent lower at 7,264.50.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 20 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Financials, up 0.76 per cent. The worst-performing sector is A-REIT, down 1.3 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL), trading 2.05 per cent higher at $2.98. It is followed by shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) and National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB).

The worst-performing large cap is IGO (ASX:IGO), trading 3.83 per cent lower at $14.81. It is followed by shares in Aurizon Holdings (ASX:AZJ) and Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ).

Asian markets

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Tuesday as investors await the release of minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s July policy meeting.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.46%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.31% and the Topix rose 0.48% as Japan braces for key economic data later this week, including its trade balance and consumer price index figures for June.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led losses in the region and tumbled 1.94% as it resumed trading today after trading sessions were suspended on Monday due to a warning for Typhoon Talim.

Mainland Chinese markets were also in negative territory, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.31% and the Shenzhen Component falling 0.28%.

South Korea’s Kospi slipped marginally, but the Kosdaq was up 0.94% as the country holds its first Nuclear Consultative Group meeting with the U.S. today.

The meeting will “discuss information sharing, consultation mechanism and joint planning and execution designed to bolster nuclear deterrence against North Korea.” Yonhap reported, citing South Korea’s presidential office.

Company news

ABx Group (ASX:ABX) announced that their REE Mineral Resource increased by 30% to 27 million tonnes. MD and CEO Mark Cooksey said in response, “Our northernmost discovery hole, located 5km NE of Deep Leads, could become our best prospect because it is 11 metres thick and enriched in permanent magnet rare earths, especially Dy and Tb.” Shares are trading 2.5 per cent higher at 10.3 cents at noon.

Lumos Diagnostics (ASX:LDX) has signed an agreement with Henry Schein Medical, S.L.U. for the FebriDx® point-of-care test. In response, Doug Ward, CEO of Lumos Diagnostics, “With our recent US clearance and the growing commercial interest in FebriDx, we are now preparing production of FebriDx to meet the anticipated growing demand for the product.” Shares are trading 11.7 per cent higher at 8.6 cents at noon.

OD6 Metals (ASX:OD6) announced a Maiden Mineral Resource estimate for its Splinter Rock Rare Earth Project. Brett Hazelden, Managing Director, commented: “With less than 5% of our clay basin area tested and phase three drilling underway, over the next 6 to 18 months there is significant potential to grow the resource base by applying our geometallurgical exploration techniques.” Shares are trading 20 per cent higher at 27 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1959.30 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.6 per cent lower at US$115.05 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.05 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 68.15 US cents.

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