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ASX down 0.68%: RBNZ likely to hold rates

New Zealand’s central bank is likely to maintain its current interest rates ahead of a general election, with all surveyed economists expecting no change at 5.5 percent. However, policymakers may emphasize the potential for future rate hikes to control inflation, signaling a continued cautious approach to monetary policy.

The S&P/ASX 200 is currently trading 0.68 per cent lower at 6,896.40.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 30 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities, up 0.59 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 1.49 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), trading 1.44 per cent higher at $10.185. It is followed by shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) and Spark New Zealand (ASX:SPK).

The worst-performing large cap is TPG Telecom (ASX:TPG), trading 2.42 per cent lower at $5.24. It is followed by shares in Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW) and Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL).

Company news

Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) announces that the US FDA has granted Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) status to Noxopharm’s CRO-67 preclinical drug candidate, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Noxopharm CEO Dr Gisela Mautner said, “our pancreatic cancer program is a high priority, and we are committed to progressing its development as quickly as possible. Further studies are in the works, as are investigations into dosing and formulation.” Shares are trading 141.94 per cent higher at 15 cents.

Redstone Resources (ASX:RDS) announced it has entered into an exclusive binding agreement to acquire 100% of the Camaro, Taiga and Hellcat Projects as part of a 50/50 unincorporated joint venture with Galan Lithium (ASX:GLN). Commenting on the announcement, Chairman Mr Richard Homsany said, “Galan is a highly experienced lithium exploration business that will bring to the table considerable technical depth and expertise as we aim to accelerate our exploration efforts in the region.” Shares are trading 25 per cent higher at 1 cent.

Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) has announced that further drilling at their Flagship Kachi Project has revealed higher lithium grades and large vertical extension of lithium-bearing brine. In response, David Dickson, CEO of Lake Resources, commented, “with this second hole intercepting brine between the current bottom of the measured and indicated resource at 400 m to more than 600 m, it is becoming clear that there remains significant upside for the deposit.” Shares are trading 1.71 per cent lower at 17.2 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1838.00 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.1 per cent lower at US$119.80 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.88 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 63.05 US cents.

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