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ASX down 1.08% at noon as Australia’s trade surplus decreases in July

In July, Australia’s trade surplus decreased to $8 billion, down from $11.3 billion in June. This figure fell short of expectations, as analysts had predicted a surplus of $10 billion. The decline in the surplus can be attributed to a 2% drop in exports, primarily driven by a decrease in non-monetary gold exports, while imports increased by 2.5%, mainly due to higher imports of non-industrial transport equipment.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 1.08 per cent lower at 7,178.60.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 52 points.

Best and worst performers

All sectors are in the red. The sector with the fewest losses is Utilities, down 0.11 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Materials, down 2.41 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), trading 7.94 per cent higher at $2.99. It is followed by shares in Boral (ASX:BLD) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN).

The worst-performing large cap is BHP Group (ASX:BHP), trading 4.43 per cent lower at $44.06. It is followed by shares in Allkem (ASX:AKE) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Thursday, following a sell off on Wall Street and ahead of trade data from China and Australia.

Chinese imports and exports for August are forecasted to fall 9.2% and 9% year-on-year, respectively, according to a poll of economists by Reuters, which is smaller than the 14.5% and 12.4% drops in July.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose marginally after eight straight days of gains, while the Topix was 0.1% higher.

South Korea’s Kospi saw a 0.12% loss, while the Kosdaq was 0.35% higher.

Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index were mostly flat and stood at 18,449, compared with the HSI’s close of 18,449.98.

Company news

Lithium Plus Minerals (ASX:LPM) announced an exceptional 127m mineralised pegmatite intersection at the Lei Prospect at their Lithium Project. In response, Executive Chairman, Dr Bin Guo, commented: “It represents one of the largest reported mineralised intersections recorded to date from the Bynoe pegmatite field, with visual inspection showing large spodumene crystals of consistent distribution throughout the core sample.” 

Blaze Minerals (ASX:BLZ) announced that high grade lithium samples have been returned at the North Spirit Lithium Project. In response, MD Simon Coxhell commented, “the original results from the Ontario Geological Survey completed in 2007 have been confirmed and extended.”

Elsight (ASX:ELS) has announced that their partner, Airobotics, has received a historic U.S. FAA type certification, paving way for security and data capture innovation for commercial drones. In response, the CEO of Airobotics commented, “After a long profound process done with the FAA and many of our partners, we are thrilled to announce that our OPTIMUS 1-EX drone has met all of the specific airworthiness and noise standards set by the FAA.” 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1943.00 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.6 per cent higher at US$119.50 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.4 per cent fall.

One Australian dollar is buying 63.76 US cents.

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