The Australian dollar climbed to a fresh five-month top of US 71.06 cents after hotter-than-expected inflation eliminated the case for an immediate pause in the RBA cash rate increases, and bond markets are fully priced for a ninth straight rate rise at the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy meeting on February 7.
Bond markets anticipate at least two more cash rate increases, with a peak of 3.7 per cent.
At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.3 per cent lower at 7,468.30.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 86 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 17.75 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 94 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 26 points when the market next opens.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Utilities, up 0.49 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Energy, down 1.21 per cent.
The best-performing large cap was James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX), closing 2.61 per cent higher at $31.44. It was followed by shares in Cochlear (ASX:COH) and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN).
The worst-performing large cap was Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), closing 5.87 per cent lower at $3.21. It was followed by shares in Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL) and TPG Telecom (ASX:TPG).
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.45 per cent.
Sky Metals (ASX:SKY) has announced that Large-Scale Rare Earth Element Mineralisation was discovered at their project in NSW. In response, SKY CEO Oliver Davies commented: “The scale of mineralisation of the DMK system is already remarkable, at over 16 km long, it has the potential to develop into an extremely large source of REE.” Shares closed 32 per cent higher at 6.6 cents.
Okapi (ASX:OKR) has entered the Uranium enrichment sector with an investment in Ubaryon, a private Australian company. Okapi’s Managing Director, Mr Andrew Ferrier said: “We are now uniquely positioned to provide shareholders significant exposure to multiple components of the nuclear fuel cycle including uranium exploration, uranium mining and now uranium enrichment.” Shares closed 24.2 per cent higher at 20.5 cents.
Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) announced that approval has been granted for the commencement of its Resource expansion drilling program at the Paradox Lithium Project in the USA. The strategy re-entry program will target lithium rich-brine aquifers within the thick Mississippian units. Shares closed 27.6 per cent higher at 24.3 cents.
Tamboran Resources (ASX:TBN) completed a $60 million acquisition of Beetaloo Basin assets, positioning the company as the largest operator and acreage holder in the Basin. The company also completed drilling the Maverick 1V well in 100 per cent owned and operated EP 136, reaching a total depth of 3,050 metres and encountering strong gas shows. Tamboran plans to commence a stimulation program of the A2H well in the first quarter of 2023, subject to weather allowing for the mobilisation of equipment. Shares closed 1.04 per cent 24.3 cents.
BlueBet Holdings (ASX:BBT) had a strong quarter in Q2 FY23, with turnover up 6.6 per cent to $147.7 million driven by strong growth in Sports and mobile channels. The company continued to gain market share in Australia despite increased competition, with Active Customers up 32.3 per cent to 59,632. The company also made progress in the US, soft-launching in Iowa, with ClutchBet ranked #10 of 19 Operators by revenue in Q2, and on track for a mid-March go-live in Colorado. Shares closed 1.43 per cent higher at 35.5 cents.
Laybuy Group (ASX:LBY) has submitted a formal request to the Australian Securities Exchange to be removed from the official list. The Delisting is considered by the company’s Board to be in the best interests of the company and its shareholders due to low trading price of the company’s shares, relatively low levels of trading liquidity, and a number of flow on consequences, including the cost and administrative burden of remaining listed on ASX outweigh the benefits associated with remaining listed on the ASX. Shares closed 35 per cent lower at 3.9 cents.
Antisense Therapeutics (ASX:ANP) submitted a Clinical Trial Application in three European countries for its Phase IIb trial of ATL1102 in non-ambulant boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The company also initiated a nine-month chronic monkey toxicology study of ATL1102 at Contract Research Organisation to support the advancement of the ATL1102 program in the US. The study outcomes are expected to be reported in 1H’24. Shares closed 3.41 per cent higher at 9.1 cents.
Careteq (ASX:CTQ) reported a significant increase in contracts won and expansion of sales pipeline for both its Sofihub Assistive Living Tech and Strong Care Digital Medication Management solutions. The company also reported a large increase in the number of new contracts won across North America and ANZ, and a further expansion in its sales pipeline, putting it in its strongest position yet to grow the business and disrupt the aged/disability care sector since listing on the ASX. Shares closed flat at 6.8 cents.
MinRex Resources (ASX:MRR) has announced the completion of stage 1 RC drilling at the Tambourah North and Talga- Moolyella North Lithium Project near Marble Bar. The drilling targeted the Zone 1 surface rich pegmatites and surface outcropping pegmatite, which yielded rock chip samples consisting of 2.56 per cent Li2O, 1.59 per cent Li, 1,293 ppm Rb, 115 ppm Cs, 40 ppm Ta and the highly elevated soil anomalies over 15 per cent of the tenement area with up to 447 ppm Lithium soil sampled in 2017 completed by BC Iron. The company is currently reviewing multiple opportunities for potential lithium partnering and acquisitions on a Western Australian and global platform thanks to its highly lucrative cash position of over $13M. Shares closed 8.82 per cent higher at 3.7 cents.
Altech Chemicals (ASX:ATC) announced an update on its CERENERGY battery joint venture with Fraunhofer IKTS. They have made outstanding progress on the project and held expert workshops in Germany in October and December 2022. Design basis for the 100MWh battery plant have been finalised and major equipment suppliers have been selected. Shares closed 20.6 per cent higher at 10.3 cents.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,929.00 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $0.13 higher at US$80.26 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.04 US cents.
Image & Story Credit: finnewsnetwork.com.au