Four sectors trading at least 1% higher as ASX is up 0.35% at noon

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

Industrials, Information Technology, Utilities and Real Estate are trading at least 1 per cent higher, responding off of strong figures from the US markets overnight.

Block Inc (ASX:SQ2), formerly known as Square, exceeded analyst expectations for profit and plans to reduce operating costs. The company's shares rose in extended trading after projecting lower-than-expected expenses for the first quarter, indicating a focus on improving efficiency and cost-consciousness under the leadership of CEO Jack Dorsey.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 1.68 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Health Care, down 0.58 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Brambles (ASX:BXB), trading 8.37 per cent higher at $13.08. It is followed by shares in Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) and Reece (ASX:REH).

The worst-performing large cap is Qube Holdings (ASX:QUB), trading 3.08 per cent lower at $3.15. It is followed by shares in Rio Tinto Group (ASX:RIO) and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM).

Asian markets

Asia-Pacific markets were largely higher on Friday as investors await key U.S. economic data, as well as developments in Japan. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.44 per cent, and the Topix climbed 0.16 per cent as data showed core inflation rose 4.2 per cent in January, the highest in 41 years. Investors will further digest commentary from Bank of Japan governor nominee Kazuo Ueda as he speaks at parliament.
South Korea’s Kospi started the day 0.26 per cent up, while the Kosdaq was marginally higher.

Company news

Resource Base (ASX:RBX) has secured an option to acquire two highly prospective lithium projects in Québec. Resource Base Non-Executive Chairman, Maurice Feilich, commented, ““The James Bay Lithium District, which is home to Patriot Battery Metals (ASX:PMT) and Winsome Resources (ASX:WR1), is one of the leading hard rock lithium locations globally.” Shares are trading 19.2 per cent higher at 15.5 cents at noon.

AVITA Medical (ASX:AVH) has reported their fourth quarter 2022 results. The results include a 4 per cent increase in revenue and a gross profit margin of 82 per cent. In response, Jim Corbett, AVITA Medical Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to execute on our growth strategy, with all areas of our business exceeding my expectations. Looking Ahead … We expect FDA approvals in June 2023 for our soft tissue repair and vitiligo indications.” Shares are trading 19.4 per cent higher at $3.14 at noon.

Selfwealth (ASX:SWF) the online investment platform has announced record revenue and positive cash flow in its first half financial year 2023 results. Of its $14.5m revenue only $4.5m came from brokerage declining from $7m from the previous corresponding period. The real driver of revenue was the $9.6M that came from the cash haircut on client balances. It appears that rate rises are a good hedge for declining brokerage revenue for SWF. Shares are trading 16.4 per cent higher at 19.5 cents at noon.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1782.70 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.3 per cent lower at US$130.20 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.54 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.06 US cents.

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