ASX closes 0.5% higher: Dollar strengthens and lithium miners rally

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

On Wednesday, Australian shares rebounded, with the S&P/ASX 200 closing 0.5% higher at 7615 and the All Ordinaries also rising by the same percentage.

The Australian dollar strengthened to 65.3¢, building on gains from the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to maintain rates at its first meeting of the year.

The regional market rally was spurred by Chinese government measures to encourage long-term investment, benefiting iron ore miners like Fortescue, BHP, and Rio Tinto. Notably, lithium miners, including Core Lithium and Liontown Resources, performed well, while CSR and packaging giant Amcor faced setbacks. Additionally, National Australia Bank announced CEO Ross McEwan's departure in April, with Andrew Irvine set to take over, causing a slight dip in shares.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 9 points.

The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 0.5 points.

The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 2 points.

The SPI futures are up 39 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Utilities, up 1.74 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Energy, down 0.95 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was GQG Partners (ASX:GQG), closing 7.38 per cent higher at $2.11. It was followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY).

The worst-performing large cap was Santos (ASX:STO), closing 5.84 per cent lower at $7.41. It was followed by shares in James Hardie Industries plc (ASX:JHX) and Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.22 per cent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.07 per cent.

China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.07 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,051.10 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1.3 per cent lower at US$125.50 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.91 per cent rise.

Light crude is trading $0.13 higher at US$73.44 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 65.26 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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