ASX down 0.42% at noon: Oil prices on track for weekly gain

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.42 per cent lower at 7,141.20.

Oil prices are on track for a weekly gain due to several factors. OPEC+ leaders, Saudi Arabia and Russia, have decided to extend supply cuts through the end of the year. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil is currently around $87 per barrel, having risen over 1% this week, reaching its highest level since November. US crude inventories decreased by 6.3 million barrels, marking the lowest levels since December, and gasoline and distillate inventories also declined. Strong exports contributed to these inventory draws.

The overall increase in oil prices this quarter is attributed to OPEC+ supply cuts, which have tightened the market. However, some banks, like JPMorgan, remain cautious about the future and do not expect oil to reach $100 per barrel this year due to challenging demand outlook.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 26 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities, up 0.57 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Materials, down 1.04 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC), trading 1.75 per cent higher at $49.47. It is followed by shares in Boral (ASX:BLD) and James Hardie Industries plc (ASX:JHX).

The worst-performing large cap is Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), trading 3.9 per cent lower at $68.97. It is followed by shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC).

Company news

Advanced Share Registry (ASX:ASW) has entered into a Scheme Implementation Deed with Automic under which Automic will acquire 100% of the fully paid ordinary shares. In response, ASW Chairman, Simon Cato, said: “Automic represents a logical, long-term owner for the Advanced Share Registry business, with the expertise, capacity and technology platform to support continued growth for our business.” 

Magnum Mining & Exploration (ASX:MGU) entered into a non-binding MOU with Anglo American to progress negotiations towards a binding transaction for the offtake of 100% of production from its wholly owned Buena Vista Iron Project in Nevada, USA. The MOU contemplates including all iron ore products including DSO ore and magnetite concentrate of blast furnace or Direct Iron Reduction grade. 

Ava Risk Group (ASX:AVA) advised that it has been awarded a contract, in partnership with Siemens Korea, to protect a critical solar infrastructure project in Qatar. Ava Risk Group CEO, Mal Maginnis commented: “It is also another vote of confidence in what we believe to be the most advanced perimeter intrusion detection technology in the market.” 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1949.40 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1.5 per cent lower at US$117.70 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.3 per cent fall.

One Australian dollar is buying 63.84 US cents.

Peter Milios

Peter Milios is a recent graduate from the University of Technology - majoring in Finance and Accounting. Peter is currently working under equity research analyst Di Brookman for Corporate Connect Research.

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