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ASX up 1.28% at noon following speculation that global central banks have concluded raising rates

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 1.28 per cent higher at 7,163.40, following the upward movement seen on Wall Street. This uptick in market performance coincides with increasing speculation that global central banks have concluded their efforts to raise interest rates.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 86 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 2.13 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Utilities, down 1.36 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is NEXTDC (ASX:NXT), trading 4.15 per cent higher at $13.55. It is followed by shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN).

The worst-performing large cap is Origin Energy (ASX:ORG), trading 3.18 per cent lower at $7.92. It is followed by shares in QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Monday, with investors awaiting a slew of key economic data Tuesday and inflation readings later this week.

Inflation reading for Tokyo will be released Tuesday, which is widely seen as a leading indicator for nationwide trends. South Korea inflation numbers will also be out the same day.

South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.6% and the small-cap Kosdaq gained 0.53%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 1%, and the Topix fell 1.23%.

Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 16,942, pointing to a stronger open compared with HSI’s close of 16,830.3.

Company news

Global semiconductor developer BluGlass (ASX:BLG) has signed a US$1.775M (AU$2.6M) contract with North Carolina State University (NCSU) for laser development activity in FY24. BluGlass CEO Jim Haden said, “We are thrilled to have secured our first contract as part of the CLAWS Hub, where we will be collaborating with recognised industry leaders to develop and commercialise next-generation wide-bandgap photonic and optoelectronic devices.” Shares are trading 3.39 per cent higher at 5.7 cents.

Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) is pleased to announce that it has secured a Port Services and Access Agreement with the Mid West Ports Authority (MWPA). Liontown’s Managing Director and CEO, Tony Ottaviano, said, “Approval by WA Ports Minister Hon. David Michael of the port agreement represents the final step in securing our supply chain to export lithium ore from Kathleen Valley.” Shares are trading 0.15 per cent higher at $1.36.

Noble Helium Limited (ASX:NHE) has successfully completed wireline logging and sampling at the Mbelele-2 well, at the Company’s 100% owned North Rukwa Helium Project in Tanzania. The sample calculated free-air composition of 2% to 3% helium, with excellent reservoir parameters and flow potential. Shares are trading 27.3 per cent higher at 23.5 cents.

Empire Energy (ASX:EEG) has acquired AGL Limited’s Rosalind Park Gas processing facility for $2.5 million in cash, to support their Carpentaria Project. Empire estimates that the acquisition of the RPGP may result in >$30 million in cost savings and reduce lead production time by ~12 months compared to new build alternatives. We spoke to Alex Underwood Managing Director of empire energy this morning. Shares are trading flat at 16.5 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2116.10 an ounce.

One Australian dollar is buying 66.78 US cents.

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