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ASX closes 0.7% higher driven by investor optimism

The Australian sharemarket experienced a positive uptick on Monday with nine of its 11 sectors showing gains, driven by investor optimism amid expectations that global central banks have completed their monetary policy tightening. 

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.73 per cent higher at 7,124.70.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 9 points.

The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 7.5 points.

The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 53 points.

The SPI futures are up 55 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 1.90 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Utilities, down 2.52 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), closing 3.70 per cent higher at $12.90. It was followed by shares in Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) and NEXTDC (ASX:NXT).

The worst-performing large cap was Origin Energy (ASX:ORG), closing 3.91 per cent lower at $7.86. It was followed by shares in IGO (ASX:IGO) and QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.67 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.59 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.55 per cent.

Company news

Global semiconductor developer BluGlass (ASX:BLG) has signed a US$1.775M (AU$2.6M) contract with North Carolina State University (NCSU) for laser development activity in FY24. BluGlass CEO Jim Haden said, “We are thrilled to have secured our first contract as part of the CLAWS Hub, where we will be collaborating with recognised industry leaders to develop and commercialise next-generation wide-bandgap photonic and optoelectronic devices.” Shares closed 3.39 per cent higher at 5.7 cents.

Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) is pleased to announce that it has secured a Port Services and Access Agreement with the Mid West Ports Authority (MWPA). Liontown’s Managing Director and CEO, Tony Ottaviano, said, “Approval by WA Ports Minister Hon. David Michael of the port agreement represents the final step in securing our supply chain to export lithium ore from Kathleen Valley.” Shares closed 0.37 per cent higher at $1.36.

Noble Helium Limited (ASX:NHE) has successfully completed wireline logging and sampling at the Mbelele-2 well, at the Company’s 100% owned North Rukwa Helium Project in Tanzania. The sample calculated free-air composition of 2% to 3% helium, with excellent reservoir parameters and flow potential. Shares closed 2.7 per cent higher at 19 cents.

Empire Energy (ASX:EEG) has acquired AGL Limited’s Rosalind Park Gas processing facility for $2.5 million in cash, to support their Carpentaria Project. Empire estimates that the acquisition of the RPGP may result in >$30 million in cost savings and reduce lead production time by ~12 months compared to new build alternatives. Shares closed 3.03 per cent higher at 17 cents. 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,107.70 an ounce.

Light crude is trading $0.44 lower at US$73.63 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 66.59 US cents.

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