ASX down 1.23%: Oil prices rise

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

The Australian dollar fell below the US65¢ mark, reaching US64.87¢, its lowest level since late November. This drop was influenced by a negative shift in the sentiment towards risk assets, leading to a decrease of US4¢ in the Australian dollar's value since late last year. 

On a different note, oil prices rose due to concerns about disruptions in the Middle East following weekend airstrikes by the US and Britain in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen against Iran-linked targets. Brent crude for April delivery increased by 0.9% to $US78 a barrel, and West Texas Intermediate rose by 0.8% to $US72.85. There are concerns that any further tensions leading to the shutdown of oil production in the Strait of Hormuz could result in higher oil prices due to fears of reduced fuel supply. This situation also has potential implications for Australian companies, such as Woodside, if Qatari LNG production is affected.

The S&P/ASX 200 is 1.23 per cent lower at 7,604.50.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 98 points.

Best and worst performers

All sectors are in the red. The sector with the fewest losses is Health Care, down 0.24 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Materials, down 2.33 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Pro Medicus (ASX:PME), trading 4.17 per cent higher at $109.17. It is followed by shares in WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) and Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL).

The worst-performing large cap is IGO (ASX:IGO), trading 4.39 per cent lower at $6.97. It is followed by shares in Newmont Corporation (ASX:NEM) and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2053.20 an ounce.

Iron ore is 3.6 per cent lower at US$128.00 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.1 per cent fall.

One Australian dollar is buying 64.90 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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