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ASX currently trading 0.35% lower as oil steadies

At 11:30am, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.35 per cent lower at 7,171.30.

Oil prices have stabilised amid a cautious market atmosphere before a Federal Reserve meeting, with West Texas Intermediate for November holding just below $91 per barrel. Traders weighed estimates of further declines in US crude stockpiles, driven by supply constraints from OPEC+ and positive economic prospects in the US and China, which could pose challenges for central bankers like the Fed.

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

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, up 0.7 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Materials, down 1.14 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL), trading 4.34 per cent higher at $42.82. It is followed by shares in Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) and Computershare (ASX:CPU).

The worst-performing large cap is Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ), trading 2.23 per cent lower at $4.83. It is followed by shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) and IGO (ASX:IGO).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets mostly fell as China left its one-year and five-year loan prime rates unchanged and traders brace for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate decision Wednesday stateside.

China’s one-year and five-year loan prime rates were held at 3.45% and 4.2% respectively.

The region also saw August trade data out from Japan, while wholesale inflation in South Korea jumped for the first time since July 2022.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell marginally, while the Topix was also hovering near the flatline. Japan’s trade deficit in August narrowed by two-thirds on a year-on-year basis, while imports and exports recorded a smaller fall than expected.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.11%, but South Korean markets bucked the trend, with the Kospi gaining 0.1% and the Kosdaq up marginally.

Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 17,980, lower than the HSI’s last close of 17,997.17.

Company news

QX Resources (ASX:QXR) announced that Bayrock Resources has confirmed highly encouraging nickel-copper mineralisation, some in thick intercepts, in eight drill holes within Bayrock’s Nickel-Copper Project In Northern Sweden. QXR has a 39% holding in Bayrock Resources. In response, QXR Managing Director Steve Promnitz commented: “today’s results confirm excellent mineralisation in a new area of interest, expanding the project footprint.” Shares are trading 4.17 per cent higher at 2.5 cents.

Vintage Energy (ASX:VEN) has provided an update on the performance of the Odin-1 gas well. The Company has announced an early achievement of target flow rates and that 5 day production rate confirms the well’s capability. In response, Managing Director, Neil Gibbins, commented, “With 5 days of solid production history we have the data which shows Odin-1 is a good well from which we expect to realise a significant uplift in our production and cash generation.” Shares are trading 9.09 per cent higher at 3.6 cents.

Alderan Resources (ASX:AL8) announced the execution of a binding share sale agreement to acquire 100% of the issued capital in Parabolic Lithium Pty Ltd, which has the right to acquire a 100% interest in seven lithium exploration projects in the mineral resource rich state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. In response, Managing Director of Alderan, Scott Caithness, commented, “[this agreement] represents the successful culmination of project generation focused on securing high potential critical metals exploration opportunities.” Shares are trading 62.5 per cent higher at 1.3 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1951.20 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1.4 per cent lower at US$122.75 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.28 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 64.53 US cents.

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