ASX up 0.37% at noon: RBA's likely hike




The Australian sharemarket began the week with a slight upward movement, as investors remained watchful for the Reserve Bank's cash rate decision scheduled for Tuesday, with both bond and equity traders exercising caution in their approach.

Bond traders are increasingly anticipating a 0.25 percentage point cash rate hike by the Reserve Bank of Australia on Melbourne Cup day, giving it a 69% likelihood, while US investors remained optimistic about the stock market after favourable jobs data, causing bond yields and the US dollar to decline. In contrast, market expectations for the Federal Reserve have shifted, with just a 16% chance of a rate hike in January and full pricing for a rate cut by June next year according to Bloomberg's Fed swaps data.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.37 per cent higher at 7003.80.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 20 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Health Care, up 1.41 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 0.89 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), trading 5.56 per cent higher at $3.705. It is followed by shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) and ResMed (ASX:RMD).

The worst-performing large cap is Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC), trading 2.36 per cent lower at $7.04. It is followed by shares in Computershare (ASX:CPU) and Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY).

Asian news

Asia markets gained Monday after a soft monthly jobs report from the United States helped ease bets that the Federal Reserve will continue to hike interest rates.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 150,000 in October, lower than the Dow Jones consensus forecast for a 170,000 rise.

Investors will monitor Japan’s au Jibun Bank’s final reading on business activity in October, due later Monday.

Returning from a long weekend, Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 2% at the open, while the Topix added 1.45% to its highest level in over one month.

South Korea’s Kospi jumped 2.14%, and the Kosdaq gained 3.39%.

Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 17,867, pointing to a higher open compared with the HSI’s close of 17,664.12.

Company news

Soprano Design Australia Pty Ltd today announces its intention to make an off-market takeover bid for all the ordinary shares in Whispir Limited (ASX:WSP) for $0.48 cash per share. The all cash offer price of $0.48 is best and final and will not be increased, in the absence of an alternative proposal or a competing proposal. Whispir shareholders are advised to take no action in respect of Soprano Takeover bid. Shares are trading 60.83 per cent higher at 48.25 cents.

QX Resources (ASX:QXR) has confirmed further rockchip sample results with up to 3.8% LiO2 at Turner River in the heart of the Pilbara lithium province of Western Australia. In response, QX Resources Managing Director, Steve Promnitz, said: “High grade lithium results continue to drive the need for a much more structured and comprehensive exploration program at Turner River. These are some of the highest grade samples of lithium recorded in the Pilbara and it has reinforced our confidence in this project.” Shares are trading 8.7 per cent higher at 2.5 cents.

Immutep (ASX:IMM) has announced the completion of the safety lead-In and opening of the randomised Phase II of the AIPAC-003 phase II/III trial in metastatic breast cancer. Good safety profile allows for lead-in phase to be closed early and the randomised Phase II portion of study will now proceed. Shares are trading 3.33 per cent higher at 31 cents.

Magnis Energy Technologies (ASX:MNS) is currently in a trading halt to allow the Company the time it needs to prepare a disclosure in relation to iM3NY's loan facilities. The Company is not aware of any reason why the requested trading halt should not be granted by ASX and the Company is not aware of other information necessary to inform the market in relation to the trading halt. Shares last traded at 8.1 cents.
Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1997.10 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.2 per cent higher at US$126.80 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.97 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 65.17 US cents.


Name 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.