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ASX up 0.84% at midday as GDP grows 0.2%

Australia’s GDP growth in the third quarter was 0.2%, falling short of the market consensus of 0.4%, with a year-on-year expansion of 2.1%, in line with the previous quarter and exceeding forecasts. This data is crucial as the central bank aims to control inflation, keeping the cash rate unchanged at 4.35%, and global traders are monitoring signs of an economic slowdown amid expectations of further rate cuts in the US and elsewhere. The RBA’s meeting in February and the January quarterly inflation report will be significant in shaping future monetary policy decisions.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.84 per cent higher at 7,120.80.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 68 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Consumer Staples, up 1.3 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 0.12 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), trading 3.56 per cent higher at $3.35. It is followed by shares in IGO (ASX:IGO) and Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG).

The worst-performing large cap is Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), trading 14.98 per cent lower at $3.52. It is followed by shares in Newmont Corporation (ASX:NEM) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST).

Company news

Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) has announced a 56% increase in the JORC resource at the Salinas Lithium Project. In response, Latin Resources Managing Director, Chris Gale, commented, “What a great effort from our exploration team. Another significant milestone met with our upgraded MRE to over 70Mt. This Project is fast becoming a Tier One lithium resource as we predicted.” Shares are trading 8.82 per cent higher at 18.5 cents.

Lanthanein Resources (ASX:LNR) has entered into a transaction to earn up to a 70% interest in the Lady Grey Lithium Project at Mount Holland in the Forrestania Greenstone Belt. In response, Mr Brian Thomas, Technical Director of Lanthanein commented, “This transaction positions Lanthanein with a prospective lithium project in one of the most desired jurisdictions for lithium explorers in Western Australia.” Shares are trading 100 per cent higher at 1.2 cents.

Noble Helium (ASX:NHE) provides the following further information to Monday’s update on drilling results at Mbelele at the Company’s North Rukwa Helium Project in Tanzania. The results show free gas column of mixed helium and nitrogen at crest of Mbelele structure, potential to underwrite monetisation plans and helium-rich fluids within deeper high quality stacked reservoirs provide significant upside as a resource play. Shares are trading 8.82 per cent higher at 18.5 cents. 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2037.90 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.3 per cent higher at US$131.40 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.51 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 65.69 US cents.

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