Overnight losses in the US cause ASX to fall 1.65% at noon

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

Overnight, the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite Index, and Dow Jones Industrial Average all closed lower by 1.9 per cent, 2.1 per cent, and 1.7 per cent, respectively, on Wall Street. Additionally, the four largest US banks lost $47 billion in the market selloff, which occurred ahead of a significant jobs report.

Investors are selling shares in lithium miners and explorers as benchmark prices for the battery ingredient hit a one-year low in China. The decrease in demand from China, which makes 76 per cent of the world's batteries, is the cause of the price falls. The shares of Pilbara Minerals, Mineral Resources, IGO, Allkem, Liontown, Core Lithium, and Sayona Mining have all dropped. Rare earths miner Lynas has also seen its shares fall due to rare earth prices retreating and Tesla's announcement that it may not use rare earths in next-gen permanent magnet motors.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 1.65 per cent lower at 7,190.40.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 126 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities, up 0.78 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Financials, down 2.37 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), trading 2.89 per cent higher at $10.67. It is followed by shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL).

The worst-performing large cap is Worley (ASX:WOR), trading 4.99 per cent lower at $14.84. It is followed by shares in IGO (ASX:IGO) and Allkem (ASX:AKE).

Asian markets

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific fell on Friday, as investors await the closely watched February non-farm payrolls report from the U.S. that could further determine the direction on the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes ahead.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan shed 1.22 per cent and the Topix lost 1.2 per cent as Bank of Japan is widely expected to make no changes to its ultra-dovish monetary policy and hold its interest rates at -0.1 per cent, according to a Reuters poll. Japan’s parliament confirmed Kazuo Ueda as the next Bank of Japan governor, Reuters reported — as Haruhiko Kuroda chairs his last policy meeting before his term ends on April 8.

Company news

Magnum Mining & Exploration (ASX:MGU) has announced that their test work has confirmed a high grade iron ore of over 68 per cent. The Company has also outlined that minimal changes were necessary to the previously designed plant to achieve the high grade product. Shares are trading 60 per cent higher at 2.4 cents at noon.

APM Human Services International (ASX:APM) has announced that they have been awarded a contract in North America with annual revenue of $150 million. In response, APM Group CEO, Michael Anghie said: “North America is an important growth market for APM as we continue to build a leading global health and human services company supporting positive outcomes for the clients and stakeholders we serve.” Shares are trading 1.4 per cent higher at $2.21 at noon.

Prodigy Gold (ASX:PRX) has announced that metallurgical testwork has been completed on representative samples at their Buccaneer Gold Project. In response, Prodigy Gold Managing Director, Mark Edwards said, “The majority of drilling is focussed in the southern 500 to 700 metres of this body, with good potential for additions to the existing resource to the north where drill spacing increases.” Shares are trading 4.4 per cent higher at 1.2 cents at noon.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1782.70 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.9 per cent higher at US$129.00 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 2.31 per cent rise/fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.81 US cents.

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