ASX down 0.22% at noon: CPI increases to 5.2% in August

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

The monthly consumer price index in Australia increased to 5.2% for the 12 months ending in August, up from 4.9% in July, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, matching market expectations. The main factors contributing to this rise were housing, transport, food, non-alcoholic beverages, and insurance and financial services. When volatile items like fuel were excluded, the annual inflation rate in August was 5.5%, slightly lower than the 5.8% in July. This data is significant because it affects the Reserve Bank's decision on interest rates, as they are closely monitoring any signs of accelerating inflation in the economy.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.22 per cent lower at 7,022.90.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 10 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Financials, up 0.19 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Health Care, down 1.31 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is ResMed (ASX:RMD), trading 5.1 per cent higher at $23.06. It is followed by shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation (ASX:FPH).

The worst-performing large cap is Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG), trading 2.76 per cent lower at $5.64. It is followed by shares in CSL (ASX:CSL) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets fell across the board ahead of China’s industrial data and Australia’s August inflation figures due on Wednesday.

Australia’s weighted inflation rate is expected to rise 5.2% year on year in August, a predicted rebound from three straight months of decline.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 0.71%, leading losses in Asia while the Topix slid 0.63%.

South Korea’s Kospi was 0.12% lower, but the Kosdaq was marginally above the flatline.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also is set for a positive open, with futures at 17,477, compared to the HSI’s close of 17,466.9.

Company news

Tamboran Resources (ASX:TBN) has increased the Beetaloo Basin 2C gas resources to 2.0 trillion cubic feet. The EP 136 unrisked 1C contingent gas resources increased to 116 billion cubic feet (BCF) and the unrisked 2C contingent gas resources increase to 406 BCF. Shares are trading 7.69 per cent higher at 14 cents.

NOVONIX (ASX:NVX) has received up to US2.2 million from the Government of Canada used for the Company’s all-dry, zerowaste cathode materials development and pilot line; and a new technology to predict the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries. In response, NOVONIX CEO, Dr. Chris Burns stated, “We expect (government support) to grow, underscoring the increasing need for NOVONIX’s materials technologies and advanced battery testing expertise that support cleaner high-performance materials.” Shares are trading 4.38 per cent higher at 83.5 cents.

ABx Group (ASX:ABX) announced that it has been granted two significant exploration licences covering the southwards extensions of the Portrush REE discovery near Launceston in northern Tasmania. In response, ABx Group Managing Director and CEO Mark Cooksey said: “These two large exploration licences significantly increase our rare earths exploration footprint in Tasmania to almost 600 km2, and I look forward to getting on the ground and kicking off our exploration program to locate more ionic adsorption clay rare earth deposits.” Shares are trading 6.25 per cent lower at 7.5 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1919.40 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1.2 per cent lower at US$117.40 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.65 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 64.03 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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