Markets rally further following employment data: ASX closes 0.61% higher

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

The Chief Economist at Betashares, David Bassanese, stated that modest decline in recorded employment during December shows signs of the slowdown in labour demand. However, Mr. Bassanese believes that this data will not stand in the way of an interest rate hike in February.

In commodity news, iron ore futures have had a tumultuous start to the year, but are now rallying to their highest point in nearly one week as BHP has predicted that the re-opening of China will drive up demand. Futures for February were up 2 per cent to $US124.15 per tonne.

BHP (ASX:BHP) has closed the day 1.22 per cent higher.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.61 per cent or 45 points higher at 7,438.20.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 38 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 3.5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 3.25 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 39 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Materials, up 1.02 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 0.85 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN), closing 3.69 per cent higher at $12.36. It was followed by shares in Rio Tinto Group (ASX:RIO) and Allkem (ASX:AKE).

The worst-performing large cap was Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), closing 2.11 per cent lower at $3.24. It was followed by shares in The a2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) and Santos (ASX:STO).

Asian news

Japan's Nikkei has lost 1.43 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 0.05 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 1.24 per cent.

Company news

Imdex (ASX:IMD) entered into a binding agreement to acquire Devico AS for an implied enterprise value of A$324 million. Commenting on the news, IMDEX Chief Executive Officer, Paul House, said, “We see significant value in combining our complementary product portfolios, market-leading R&D capabilities and global presence.” Shares closed unchanged at $2.47.

Patriot Battery Metals (ASX:PMT) has recorded its highest grade lithium drill intercept to date. In response, Darren Smith, Vice President of Exploration of the Company, comments, “As we move east, we are defining a significant high-grade zone at a coarse drill spacing of 50 to 100 m. The recently commenced winter drill program will continue to probe and delineate this area ahead of an initial mineral resource estimate planned for the first half of 2023.” Shares closed 38.29 per cent higher at $1.21.

Minbos Resources (ASX:MNB) announced that the last of the FEECO manufactured fertiliser plant has now left the US and is enroute to Angola, with activities ramping up in anticipation of first production H2 2023. Initial construction activities at the Cácata phosphate deposit are on target and within budget. Shares closed 18.18 per cent higher at $0.13.

BluGlass’ (ASX:BLG) Fremont laser diodes are now achieving or exceeding contract manufacturer performance benchmarks. In response, President Jim Haden said, “This technical milestone demonstrates the importance of operational control in accelerating development turns.” Shares closed 6.06 per cent higher at $0.035.

Knosys (ASX:KNO), a global software-as-a-service (SaaS) information technology company, is pleased to announce that Optus has signed an additional one year contract extension for the continued use of Knosys’ market leading knowledge management platform, KnowledgeIQ. The value of this contract extension is expected to exceed $1 million. In response, Knosys Managing Director, John Thompson, said “This further contract extension allows us to continue our partnership with Optus and further develop the knowledge management solution to meet their future business needs.” Shares closed 1 per cent higher at $0.1.

Kincora Copper (ASX:KCC), who is partially owned by RareX (ASX:REE), announced the commencement of drilling at the Dunn’s North prospect situated at the brownfield Trundle project, located in the Macquarie Arc of the Lachlan Fold Belt (LFB) in NSW, Australia. John Holliday, Technical Committee chair, and Peter Leaman, VP of Exploration, commented, ““Drilling at Dunn’s North will for the first time follow up shallow ore grade mineralisation, 10 metres @ 1.99 g/t gold and 0.12 per cent copper from only 36 metres, returned above and on the margin of significant, untested, coincident magnetic and Induced Polarisation (IP) geophysical features. The target is a larger porphyry deposit responsible for that ore grade mineralisation and the geophysical features.” Shares last traded 17.3 percent higher at 9.5 cents.

Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM), a clinical stage cell therapy company and an Australian leader in cell therapy, is pleased to announce that the first patient has been dosed in the CHM 0201 (CORE NK) + Vactosertib clinical trial, the first ever trial to assess NK cells in combination with Vactosertib in patients with advanced colorectal and blood cancers. “Both advanced colorectal cancer and acute myeloid leukaemia continue to be defined by high unmet needs in the relapse/refractory setting,” said Jennifer Chow, Chimeric CEO and Managing Director. Shares last traded 1.20 percent lower at 8.2 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,911.60 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1 per cent higher at US$122.70 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.95 per cent rise.
Light crude is trading $1.23 lower at US$78.25 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.05 US cents.

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