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ASX closes 0.29% lower as Aus dollar falls

The Australian dollar is currently trading near its lowest level since the beginning of June due to concerns among investors about central banks increasing policy interest rates. There is a widespread belief that these rate hikes will negatively impact the global economy, commodity prices, and the Australian dollar (AUD).

Commonwealth Bank analysts predict that the AUD will continue to decline against the US dollar, potentially reaching a level of US65.47c.

The absence of news regarding China’s speculated economic stimulus package and events in Russia could further decrease the AUD/USD exchange rate, potentially reaching the forecasted level of 0.6400 by the end of June. However, if the May Consumer Price Index (CPI) report is stronger than anticipated, the AUD/USD rate might experience a temporary increase. Currently, the Australian dollar is valued at US66.81c.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.29 per cent lower at 7,078.70.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 43 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 22 points.
The SPI futures are down 29 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 0.88 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Utilities, down 0.59 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was Infratil (ASX:IFT), closing 2.26 per cent higher at $9.05. It was followed by shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Xero (ASX:XRO).

The worst-performing large cap was Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), closing 3.53 per cent lower at $69.42. It was followed by shares in Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) and IGO (ASX:IGO).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.25 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.46 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 1.01 per cent.

Company news

Metal Hawk (ASX:MHK) has discovered thick, high-grade rare earths at the Fraser South project in WA. Managing Director Will Belbin commented: “With our very large tenement holding positioned directly over these fertile granites, there is ample opportunity to expand and discover new additional broad zones of mineralisation.” Shares closed 124 per cent higher at 19.5 cents.

Ragnar Metals (ASX:RAG) has released several announcements this morning. The company has acquired two rare earth and two lithium projects, and has sold its wholly owned subsidiary Ragnar Metals Sweden to BHP Metals for $9.8m. Shares closed 35 per cent higher at 2.7 cents.

ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS) has secured two binding offtake agreements worth at least $11.9m to supply medicinal cannabis dried flower. ECS Managing Director, Nan-Maree Schoerie commented, “We view respected companies such as Entoura and Precision, who focus on improving patient access through affordable quality products and education, as ideal partners in supporting the growth of the medicinal cannabis industry in Australia.” Shares closed 20 per cent higher at 2.3 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,935.60 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $0.30 higher at US$69.46 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.74 US cents.