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ASX up 0.08% at noon as Australia’s trade surplus expands

In August, Australia’s trade surplus expanded to $9.6 billion, surpassing expectations, as exports increased by 4 percent, primarily led by gold, while imports declined by 0.4 percent, largely due to a decrease in industrial transport equipment.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.08 higher at 6,895.8.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 5 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is REITs, up 1.18 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 2.25 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), trading 3.05 per cent higher at $10.49. It is followed by shares in Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) and ResMed (ASX:RMD).

The worst-performing large cap is IGO (ASX:IGO), trading 3.65 per cent lower at $11.61. It is followed by shares in Ampol (ASX:ALD) and Woodside Energy Group (ASX:WDS).

Asian news

Hong Kong stocks led Asia-Pacific markets lower on Tuesday, in their return from a National Day holiday on Monday.

The city’s benchmark Hang Seng index closed 2.69% lower at 17,331.22, recovering slightly from earlier in the session when it was down more than 3%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.64% to close 31,237.94.

South Korean and Chinese markets are closed for holidays.

Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes traded mixed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 74.15 points, or 0.22%, to 33,433.35. The S&P 500 inched higher by 0.01% to close at 4,288.39. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.67% to close at 13,307.77

Company news

Vintage Energy (ASX:VEN) announces an additional two-year gas sale under the master gas supply agreement for the Odin gas field. The joint venture parties have agreed and signed terms with Pelican Point Power for the supply of gas from 1 January 2025 to 31 December 2026. Shares are trading 9.3 per cent higher at 3.0 cents.

Rumble Resources (ASX:RTR) has announced that high grade zinc and lead has been intersected at the Earaheedy Project. The width and tenor of mineralisation intercepted indicates that potential feeder faults exist at the Project and confirms the prospectivity of the 9km x 3km area to host high grade Zn-Pb sulphide mineralisation. Shares are trading 7.14 per cent higher at 11.3 cents.

QX Resources (ASX:QXR) has signed a formal documentation to acquire a 75% Interest in the 100km2 Liberty Lithium Brine Project in the USA. In response, QXR Managing Director, Stephen Promnitz, said: “The Liberty Lithium Project is potentially a new large-scale lithium brine project – in the right location, with good infrastructure and a pathway to development.” Shares are on a trading halt and last traded at 2.3 cents.

Dimerix (ASX:DXB) and ADVANZ PHARMA have entered into an exclusive licence agreement for the UK, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand for the commercialisation of Dimerix’ Phase 3 drug candidate DMX-200 for the treatment of FSGS, which is a rare type of kidney disease. Dimerix will receive up to ~AU$230* million in upfront and milestone payments, plus royalties. Shares are trading 96.7 per cent higher at 12 cents.

BluGlass Limited (ASX:BLG) has been named a member of the Commercial Leap Ahead for Wide-bandgap Semiconductors (CLAWS) Hub, one of eight Microelectronics Commons regional innovation hubs announced by the US Department of Defense. This is a part of the US$238M funding initiative in FY23 to establish these hubs, aimed at boosting America’s capabilities in cutting-edge microelectronics development and production. Shares are trading 35.1 per cent higher at 5 cents. 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1837.80 an ounce.

One Australian dollar is buying 63.25 US cents.

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