Hot inflation data leads ASX to close 0.04% lower

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

Australian shares closed flat on Wednesday, ignoring a strong performance on Wall Street. The lackluster performance was attributed to a higher-than-expected inflation rate in the September quarter.

Australian shares were initially up by around 0.4 percent, following a positive lead from US indices, driven by strong quarterly results from companies like Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and GE. However, the benchmark index has since dropped by 9.4 percent since its February peak, bringing it close to a technical correction. On Wednesday, Australia's consumer price index for the September quarter rose by 1.2 percent, slightly exceeding economists' expectations of a 1.1 percent increase from the previous quarter.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.04 per cent lower at 6,854.30.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 47 points.

The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 8.5 points.

The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 56.25 points.

The SPI futures are down 1 point.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Materials, up 1.62 per cent. The worst-performing sector was REITs, down 2 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), closing 4.63 per cent higher at $60.09. It was followed by shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) and Ampol (ASX:ALD).

The worst-performing large cap was Infratil (ASX:IFT), closing 3.6 per cent lower at $9.11. It was followed by shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) and ResMed (ASX:RMD).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 1.16 per cent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 1.37 per cent.

China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.93 per cent.

Company news

QX Resources (ASX:QXR) has commenced drilling at the Liberty Lithium Brine Project in California, USA. QXR Managing Director, Stephen Promnitz, said, “this is potentially a new large-scale lithium brine project - in the heartland of a rapidly growing battery supply chain in the USA. Participants in the USA are aggressively seeking to secure domestic battery minerals supply to balance potential supply side risks to the energy transition.” Shares closed 4.55 per cent higher at 2.3 cents.

Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) has announced a non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise up to approximately $10 million (before direct offer costs). The offer price is $0.028 per new share, a 31.7% discount to the closing price of Chimeric shares on 24 October 2023. Shares closed 29.3 per cent lower at 2.9 cents.

Peako (ASX:PKO) announced that their RC drilling increases the strike length of higher-grade mineralisation at the Brumby Prospect from 180m to 680m. Commenting on the results, Peako Executive Director Rae Clark stated, “Importantly the shallow plunging PGE mineralisation remains open down plunge to the south-west.” Shares closed flat at 0.6 cents.

IVE Group (ASX:IGL) announces entry into the fibre based packaging sector with the strategic acquisition of JacPak, for a total purchase consideration of $35 million. Commenting on the acquisition of JacPak, IVE Group CEO Matt Aitken said, “Over the last two years we have communicated our strategic intention to enter the short to medium run folding cartons segment of the Australian packaging sector.” Shares closed 4.27 per cent higher at $1.83.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,983.00 an ounce.

Iron ore is 2.6 per cent higher at US$118.55 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 3.49 per cent rise.

Light crude is trading $0.19 lower at US$83.55 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 63.82 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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