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ASX up 0.5% at noon as Australian household spending falls

In July, Australian household spending experienced a decrease of 0.7% compared to the same period last year, marking the first decline since early 2021. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that this drop can be attributed to the impact of higher interest rates and inflation, which have affected people’s financial situations. Robert Ewing, the ABS head of business statistics, highlighted that spending on optional goods and services has seen a continuous decrease for four consecutive months, resulting in a 3.3% decrease over the year. On the other hand, spending on essential items increased by 1.7%, but this growth rate was the slowest since early 2021.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.5 per cent higher at 7,314.30.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 48 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, up 1.56 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 0.5 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), trading 8.59 per cent higher at $2.845. It is followed by shares in Allkem (ASX:AKE) and South32 (ASX:S32).

The worst-performing large cap is Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN), trading 3.44 per cent lower at $5.62. It is followed by shares in Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN) and NEXTDC (ASX:NXT).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed to start the week as investors look to key data from Australia and China later in the week.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will release its rate decision on Tuesday, while China is expected to release its trade balance for August on Thursday and its inflation rate next weekend.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index popped 1.59% and led gains in the region, while mainland markets were also in positive territory, with the benchmark CSI 300 up 0.72%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 traded up 0.52%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 also climbed 0.43% and the Topix was 0.64% higher.

South Korea’s Kospi traded marginally below the flatline, while the Kosdaq was down 0.42%.

Company news

Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) announced that it has received a revised conditional and non-binding indicative proposal from Albemarle Corporation to acquire all of the ordinary shares outstanding in Liontown for $3.00 in cash per share via scheme of arrangement. Albemarle has advised that the Revised Indicative Proposal is its best and final proposal. 

Rare earths player, ABx (ASX:ABX) is in a trading halt regarding a proposed capital raising that is material to the Company. The Company anticipates that the trading halt will be lifted on or before 6 September 2023 by provision of an announcement to the ASX with respect to the capital raising.

Emyria (ASX:EMD) has announced that they have secured $2M in firm bids from new and existing sophisticated investors. In conjunction with the Placement, Emyria will initiate a non-renounceable pro rata entitlement offer to raise approximately $3.1 million (before costs) at the same terms. 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1910.10 an ounce.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.30 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 64.63 US cents.

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