ASX up 1.1% as retail sales from February released

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, retail sales in Australia increased by 0.2 per cent in February. This follows a 1.8 per cent rise in January. The head of retail statistics, Ben Dorber, stated that the sales have evened out after a period of increased volatility in the last few months.

Overall, at noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 1.1 per cent higher at 7,039.50.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 76 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, up 3.91 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Communication Services, down 0.73 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), trading 14.39 per cent higher at $3.94. It is followed by shares in Allkem (ASX:AKE) and IGO (ASX:IGO).

The worst-performing large cap is (ASX:CAR), trading 1.73 per cent lower at $21.56. It is followed by shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST).

Company news

Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) has rejected an indicative proposal from Albemarle, in which Albemarle would acquire all of the shares in Liontown at a price of $2.50 per share via a scheme of arrangement. The Liontown Board and its advisers determined that the offer substantially undervalues Liontown, and therefore is not in the best interests of shareholders. Shares are trading 56.1 per cent higher at $2.38.

United Malt (ASX:UMG) announced it has entered into a Process Deed following Indicative Proposal from Malteries Soufflet, to acquire all of the ordinary shares on issue in United Malt for $5.00 in cash per United Malt Share. Shares are trading 31.4 per cent higher at $4.52.

Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) announced that their Gonneville Resource in WA has increased by approximately 50 per cent. Commenting on the updated Resource, Chalice Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Alex Dorsch, said, “Gonneville is now the 2rd largest undeveloped nickel sulphide resource in Australia.” Shares are trading 8.68 per cent higher at $6.83.

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets were higher on Tuesday as investor fears over the recent banking turmoil continued to show signs of easing.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.3%, while the Topix saw a larger gain of 0.57% in early trading.
South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.28%, and the Kosdaq was also marginally up.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was also looking to trade higher, with futures standing at 19,638 compared to the index’s last close of 19,567,69.
Elsewhere, South Korea will release its consumer sentiment index for March, while Australia will see its retail sales data for February.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1782.70 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.5 per cent higher at US$121.65 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.86 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.76 US cents.

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