ASX up 0.32% at noon lead by the banks and resources




At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.32 per cent higher at 7,176.70 as unemployment numbers in August held steady at 3.7%, matching analysts’ forecasts.

Sector wise the Financials, materials and energy sectors are the main outperformers, though gains broaden to include communications, property, and utilities.

In other news J. P. Morgan upgraded Rio Tinto and Fortescue to Overweight after upgrading its iron ore price forecasts. It now sees iron ore averaging $US110 a tonne in 2024 and $US105 a tonne in 2025, 13 per cent and 17 per cent higher, higher than previously forecast. The broker also lifts its long-term iron ore price forecast to $US80 a tonne.

Asian equities edged higher, the Hang Seng leading China markets higher in initial trade while Japan, Taiwan and Korean stocks also outperformed.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 16 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, up 0.9 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Health Care, down 0.93 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC), trading 3.25 per cent higher at $7.465. It is followed by shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

The worst-performing large cap is Spark New Zealand (ASX:SPK), trading 3.31 per cent lower at $4.38. It is followed by shares in Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) and EBOS Group (ASX:EBO).

Company News

Argent Minerals Limited (ASX:ARD) announced the completion of the second helicopter-borne rock chip reconnaissance survey over the Copperhead Project within the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia. Argent Minerals, Managing Director commented: “We are delighted to have independent confirmation of several styles of mineralisation which might be hosted within our Copperhead Project.” Shares are trading 4.76 per cent higher at 1.1 cents.

Flynn Gold Limited (ASX: FG1) has provided an update on its diamond drilling program being carried out at the Company’s 100% owned Golden Ridge Project located in NE Tasmania. Managing Director and CEO, Neil Marston commented, “We are thrilled that drilling at the Trafalgar Prospect at Golden Ridge in north-east Tasmania has delivered another high-grade gold intersection. The latest results include 4 metres at 23.7grams per tonne gold from just 23 metres downhole.“ Shares are trading 16.9 per cent higher at 8.3 cents.

American Rare Earths (ASX:ARR) has announced high grade field assay results at the exciting new Beaver Creek rare earth project in Wyoming. Donald Swartz, CEO commented “The deposit is open at depth and historic reports indicate that the rare earth mineralisation-outcrop may extend over 457 metres.” Shares are trading 8.33 per cent higher at 13 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1932.60 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.1 per cent lower at US$122.50 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are flat.
One Australian dollar is buying 64.34 US cents.


Name Paul Sanger