ASX up 0.15% following Wall Street's strong gains
Wall Street closed at a 52-week high as traders celebrated a decrease in core US inflation to 4 percent year-on-year in November, excluding food and energy prices. Bond yields declined as mega-cap stocks surged, indicating anticipation of rate cuts in 2024. ANZ noted that there was limited market reaction to the US consumer price inflation data, but it was robust enough to resist early rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, with Chair Jerome Powell expected to address lower rate expectations while acknowledging progress against inflation.
The prominent local stock on the move is Sigma, the target of Chemist Warehouse, which experienced an initial surge of approximately 70 percent in early trading, reaching a peak of $1.35 before retracing its gains to $1.04.
The S&P/ASX 200 is 0.15 per cent higher at 7,246.50.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 20 points.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Health Care, up 0.63 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 0.68 per cent.
The best-performing large cap is Auckland International Airport (ASX:AIA), trading 2.97 per cent higher at $7.98. It is followed by shares in Orica (ASX:ORI) and BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL).
The worst-performing large cap is IDP Education (ASX:IEL), trading 4.88 per cent lower at $20.65. It is followed by shares in Newmont Corporation (ASX:NEM) and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company (ASX:SOL).
Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Wednesday, as investors assess the quarterly Tankan survey from Japan and ahead of the interest rate decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The Tankan survey, compiled by the Bank of Japan quarterly, measures economic conditions in Japan.
Business confidence at big Japanese manufacturers improved more than expected in the fourth quarter, with the index climbing to +12 from +10.
Meanwhile, the index for big non-manufacturers’ sentiment rose to +30 from +27, improving for the seventh quarter in a row.
A positive index reading indicates optimistic respondents outnumber pessimistic ones.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 inched up 0.44%, while the Topix moved up 0.14% after the Tankan release.
In contrast, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.32% and the small-cap Kosdaq fell 0.57%.
Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 16,408, pointing to a weaker open compared with the HSI’s close of 16,374.5.
Patrys (ASX:PAB), a therapeutic antibody development company, announced that its Contract Manufacturing and Development Organisation (CDMO) has confirmed that a manufacturing slot for the GMP production of PAT-DX1 will be available in Q1 CY 2024. The Company is confident that the drug material from this manufacturing run will enable the Company to initiate its first-in-human clinical trial of PAT-DX1 in the second half of CY 2024. Shares are trading 14.29 per cent higher at 0.8 cents.
Leeuwin Metals (ASX:LM1) announced that the assays results have returned highgrade lithium oxide at the Cross Lake Lithium Project in Canada. In response Managing Director, Christopher Piggott, commented, “We are extremely pleased with today’s results which display … confirmation of a highly fertile LCT system extending over a 4.7km strike of spodumene-bearing pegmatites.” Shares are trading 5.56 per cent higher at 19 cents.
American West Metals (ASX:AW1 | OTCQB:AWMLF) has announced an updated JORC Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE), which adds 23.8Moz of indium and 119Koz of gold at the West Desert Deposit in Utah, USA. In response, Dave O’Neill, Managing Director of American West Metals commented, “the updated MRE adds a world class indium resource to the existing large volumes of zinc, copper and silver that were defined within the maiden resource announced in February this year.” Shares are trading 13.04 per cent higher at 13 cents.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1996.50 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.9 per cent higher at US$138.05 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.3 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.64 US cents.
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.