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ASX up 0.72% at noon: Retail sales in October decline by 0.2%

Retail sales in October declined by 0.2% compared to September, falling short of the expected 0.1% increase, indicating that rising borrowing costs and elevated inflation are impacting consumers’ spending. However, over the 12-month period leading up to October, sales have increased by 1.2% compared to the previous year.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.72 per cent higher at 7,037.50.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 53 points.

Best and worst performers

All sectors are in the black. The best-performing sector is REITs, up 1.33 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is Energy, up 0.03 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Allkem (ASX:AKE), trading 2.40 per cent higher at $8.55. It is followed by shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) and BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL).

The worst-performing large cap is Medibank Private (ASX:MPL), trading 1.00 per cent lower at $3.455. It is followed by shares in QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) and CAR Group (ASX:CAR).

Company news

Namoi Cotton (ASX:NAM) has received a non-binding, indicative and conditional offer (NBIO) from Louis Dreyfus Company Asia to acquire the remaining 83% of issued shares in Namoi that it does not currently own, by way of a scheme of arrangement, for a total cash consideration of $0.51 per share. The NBIO permits Namoi to pay a dividend of $0.01 per share to Namoi shareholders, which is not conditional on the Scheme proceeding and which would reduce the cash consideration to $0.50 per share. Shares are trading 35.21 per cent higher at 48 cents.

Imugene Limited (ASX:IMU), a clinical stage immuno-oncology company, announced its Metastatic Advanced Solid Tumours (MAST) clinical program evaluating the safety and efficacy of novel cancer-killing, VAXINIA, has been granted Fast Track designation from the FDA. In response, Imugene CEO and MD Ms Leslie Chong said, “The Fast Track process of drug development is designed to facilitate the development, and the review of drugs to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need, with Fast Track status often leading to earlier drug approval and access by patients.” Shares are trading 23.08 per cent higher at 11.2 cents.

Beston Global Food (ASX:BFC) has provided a further update on its operations following its AGM. The Company successfully expanded its Lactoferrin capacity, divested non-core assets, and faces short-term challenges in the Australian Dairy Sector. Shares are trading flat per cent higher at 0.6 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2037.30 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1.6 per cent lower at US$133.45 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.6 per cent fall.

One Australian dollar is buying 66.12 US cents.

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