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ASX up 0.01% at noon: China’s non-manufacturing PMI declines by 0.5 points

China’s non-manufacturing PMI, which relates to the services and construction sectors, has experienced a decline of 0.5 points, reaching a value of 51.0. This marks the fifth consecutive monthly decrease, in contrast to the reading of 51.5 observed in July.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.01 per cent higher at 7,298.30.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 6 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Communication Services, up 0.86 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 2.97 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is IGO (ASX:IGO), trading 4.02 per cent higher at $13.73. It is followed by shares in Boral (ASX:BLD) and QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE).

The worst-performing large cap is Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), trading 9.23 per cent lower at $6.10. It is followed by shares in Woodside Energy Group (ASX:WDS) and Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets largely rose as China’s factory activity contracted for a fifth straight month in August.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers index came in at 49.7, representing a softer rate of contraction compared with the 49.4 expected by economists polled by Reuters and July’s figure of 49.3.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index popped 0.8%, and mainland Chinese stocks were in negative territory, with the CSI 300 index marginally up.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.58% and the Topix was up 0.53%, as the country saw its retail sales jump more than expected in July, climbing 6.8% year on year, compared with the 5.4% rise expected by a Reuters poll.

However, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.26% as industrial production slid 8% year-on-year in July, marking its 10th straight month of contraction. The Kosdaq was 0.53% higher.

Company news

Healthia (ASX:HLA) entered into a Scheme Implementation Deed with Pacific Equity Partners, to acquire 100% of the fully diluted share capital in Healthia for $1.80 per share. In response, Chairman, Dr Glen Richards, said: “In the Healthia Board’s view, the all-cash price at a significant premium to Healthia’s recent share price reflects the inherent value of Healthia’s business operations.”

Prominence Energy (ASX:PRM) has announced that their Big Apple Project in the Gulf of Mexico has total unrisked mean net prospective resources of 1.37 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas. In response, Managing Director Alex Parks commented: “[This] is a major milestone for the Company and another step towards a potential future farm-out of this prospect.”

Dreadnought Resources (ASX:DRE) announced that RC drilling has intersected significant visual Ni-Cu massive sulphides at the Mangaroon Project, located in Western Australia. In response Managing Director, Dean Tuck, commented: “the intersection of shallow, high tenor massive sulphides in the first hole of this program is truly exciting and a great way to set the tone for the remainder of 2023.” 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1974.20 an ounce.

Iron ore is 2.1 per cent higher at US$116.45 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 3.23 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 64.95 US cents.

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