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ASX trading 0.37% higher at noon after S&P 500 rises to its highest level in 5 months

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.37 per cent higher at 7,539.60.

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Coal miners are facing pressure as coal prices decrease, with Whitehaven and New Hope both lower.

CSL shares rose 2.2 per cent to a new 52-week high of $311.10, and Pro Medicus hit a new 52-week high in the tech sector of $68.13.

The dollar fell 0.8 per cent overnight to US70.70c at the open.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 27 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Health Care, up 2.11 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Materials, down 1.36 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Xero (ASX:XRO), trading 0.45 per cent higher at $82.97. It is followed by shares in Reece (ASX:REH) and SEEK (ASX:SEK).

The worst-performing large cap is QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE), trading 0.91 per cent lower at $13.08. It is followed by shares in Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG) and Worley (ASX:WOR).

Asian news

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday after Wall Street’s rally driven by technology stocks. Meta surged 23 per cent, marking its best day since 2013 after seeing a better-than-expected earnings report.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.28 per cent and the Topix fell 0.09 per cent. In South Korea, the Kospi also fell 0.06 per cent at the open while the Kosdaq rose fractionally.

The au Jibun Bank Japan Services Purchasing Managers’ Index for January is slated to be published, after four months of readings marking growth.

Company news

Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) announced that their open pit mining operations have commenced at their Kathleen Valley lithium project in WA. In response, Liontown’s Managing Director and CEO, Tony Ottaviano, said: “Completion of the first blast and commencement of open pit mining operations is a significant milestone for Liontown, signifying our transition from explorer to mining operator. Achieving this milestone ahead of schedule is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Liontown and Iron Mining Contracting teams.” Shares are trading 1 per cent higher at $1.59.

Genetic Technologies Limited (ASX:GTG) announced that they will launch a ‘World First’ Comprehensive Risk Assessment Test which evaluates a women’s risk of developing Breast and/or Ovarian Cancer. In response, GTG’s CEO, Simon Morriss, commented, this “one of our most important and significant contributions to the advancement of population-based genetic testing. We are moving beyond rare cancer-susceptibility genetics.” Shares are trading 133 per cent higher at 0.7 cents.

Southern Hemisphere Mining (ASX:SUH) has revealed that High-grade rock chips of copper and gold found at their project in Chile have expanded their mineralised footprint. The sampling mapping program started in 2022 has identified high-grade veins in the Llahuin (laa-who-in) Project area. Shares are trading 41.2 per cent higher 2.4 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1782.70 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.2 per cent lower at US$125.15 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.1 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.77 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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