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ASX down 1.01% at noon after hawkish comments from the Fed

The ASX experienced continued declines at midday, with banking stocks being particularly affected. This drop was triggered by the recent hawkish statements from the US Federal Reserve.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 1.01 per cent lower at 7,091.10. All 11 sectors of the market showed downward trends. Major banks like Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA), NAB (ASX:NAB), ANZ (ASX:ANZ), and Westpac (ASX:WBC) saw their stock prices decline by 1 to 2 percent.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 77 points.

Best and worst performers

All sectors are in the red. The sector with the fewest losses is Utilities, down 0.18 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Financials, down 1.48 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Atlas Arteria (ASX:ALX), trading 1.61 per cent higher at $6.01. It is followed by shares in South32 (ASX:S32) and Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE).

The worst-performing large cap is Allkem (ASX:AKE), trading 4.26 per cent lower at $11.68. It is followed by shares in IGO (ASX:IGO) and Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets fell across the region after the U.S. Federal Reserve held its benchmark policy rate, but said it will raise interest rates one more time this year, according to the central bank’s projections.

Projections showed the central bank expects to hike rates to a median of 5.6% by the end of 2023, up from the current range between 5.25% and 5.5%.

The rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee projected two rate cuts in 2024, which is two fewer than its forecast in June. That would put the funds rate around 5.1%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 is also slipped 0.44% as the Bank of Japan starts its two-day monetary policy meeting, with the Topix down 0.21%.

South Korea’s Kospi was 0.5% lower, and the Kosdaq also shed 0.37%.

In contrast, futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 17,958, pointing to a stronger open compared to the HSI’s close of 17,885.60.

Company news

Immutep (ASX:IMM; NASDAQ:IMMP) announces the regulatory authorisation of “efti”, which is the Company’s proprietary soluble LAG-3 protein, for the use in clinical trials across multiple European countries. In response, Marc Voigt, CEO of Immutep, said, “Commercial scale manufacturing of efti for use in clinical trials is a significant achievement and brings us closer to realising efti’s potential to help cancer patients worldwide.” Shares are trading flat at 29 cents.

Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL, FSE:VUL) has been granted a new geothermal and lithium brine exploration licence into Frankfurt. The region of Frankfurt that the licence has been granted, includes a number of large industrial areas including Frankfurt Airport, which is a heavy energy consumers that requires large quantities of renewable energy and heating solutions. Shares are trading 0.66 per cent lower at $3.03.

Australian Gold and Copper (ASX:AGC) has received a transformational $10.1 million strategic capital investment by Delin Mining Group Cooperation. Commenting on the Strategic Investment, AGC Chairman, Mr David Richardson said, ”the significant premium to market price is clear evidence of the attractiveness of the drill ready targets in our South Cobar Project.” Shares are trading 33.9 per cent higher at 7.5 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1946.80 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1.5 per cent higher at US$124.65 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.22 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 64.23 US cents.

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