ASX down 0.05% at noon: Wesfarmers provides update on operations

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

Local sharemarket has remained relatively stable as gains in the mining and telecommunications sectors were counterbalanced by declines in the banking and real estate industries.

Uranium miner Paladin Energy Limited (ASX: PDN), has tumbled 20 per cent before being placed into a trading halt as traders fretted over rumours Namibia may look to nationalise some mining assets.

Investment conglomerate Wesfarmers Limited (ASX: WES) is up 0.5 per cent after updating investors on its operations today and declining to lift its bid for Silk Laser Clinics.
Airline Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) also added 1.8 per cent after outlining new goals out to FY 2030.

Overall, at noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.05 per cent lower at 7,213.60.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 8 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, up 0.41 per cent. The worst-performing sector is REITs, down 0.83 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN), trading 1.79 per cent higher at $6.535. It is followed by shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN).

The worst-performing large cap is Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY), trading 3.84 per cent lower at $5.76. It is followed by shares in NEXTDC (ASX:NXT) and EBOS Group (ASX:EBO).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets are mixed on Tuesday with a vote looming ahead on the tentative U.S. debt ceiling deal reached between President Joe Biden and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy over the weekend, avoiding a default for the US economy.

The US Congress is set to vote on the legislation as early as Wednesday. Lawmakers have not signaled that they intended to return to Capitol Hill early to work on the deal. Both Republican and Democratic support is needed for the bill agreement to pass.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 opened 0.36 per cent higher, but the Topix inched down 0.18 per cent, as the country saw its unemployment rate come down slightly to 2.6 per cent in April from 2.8 per cent in March.

South Korea’s Kospi returned from a public holiday and saw a strong start at 0.92 per cent up, while the Kosdaq saw a gain of 0.65 per cent.

Hong Kong stocks meanwhile are set to touch new lows for the year, with Hang Seng index futures at 18,522, headed to mark a fifth straight session of losses. The HSI last closed at 18,551.11 on Monday.

Company news

Global Lithium Resources (ASX:GL1) has completed its first stage of Ore Sorting Trials at its 100 per cent owned Manna Lithium Project in WA. Global Lithium Project Director, Tony Chamberlain commented, “the Manna Lithium Project has the distinct advantage of having great visual control between ore, which is predominantly white in colour, and surrounding waste rock which appears dark grey to black.” Global lithiums Managing Director Ron Mitchell is on this Friday's webinar, register here to secure your seat. Shares are trading 2.15 per cent higher at $1.43.

Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) has been awarded a $49 Million government grant. CEO, Graham Arvidson comments, “The Grant will be of great benefit to AVL as we seek to optimise and finalise our financing and offtake arrangements.” Shares are trading 11.4 per cent higher at 3.9 cents.

Vital Metals (ASX:VML) intersects up to 2.8 per cent TREO in drilling at its Tardiff deposit in Canada. Chief Operating Officer Eben Visser said: “We are working towards a better understanding of the geology at Tardiff and increasing confidence in our Inferred components.” Shares are trading 11.11 per cent higher at 1 cent.

DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) has undertaken a significant production and operations ramp up. The Company has $67 million across its counterdrone products under production, due for completion in stages across the 2023 calendar year. Shares are trading 5.66 per cent higher at 28 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1962.10 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.0 per cent higher at US$104.45 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.26 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.40 US cents.

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