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ASX considers abandoning blockchain clearing system: Aus shares up 0.43% at noon

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.43 per cent higher at 7,267.80.

The Nasdaq Composite index, which focuses on technology, experienced a significant surge of 1.5 per cent, while the S&P 500 rose by 0.9 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 0.3 per cent on Wall Street.

Additionally, the Australian dollar is currently trading close to US$0.6622.

The country’s market operator is contemplating abandoning its blockchain replacement for the clearing and settlements system in favour of an existing product designed for another equities exchange, due to time constraints.

Additionally, the ASX plans to stagger the migration of brokers instead of implementing a swift transition to the new system, which will replace the 1994-introduced CHESS system.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 24 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 2.48 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Utilities, down 0.66 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Xero (ASX:XRO), trading 5.09 per cent higher at $107.71. It is followed by shares in Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG) and Infratil (ASX:IFT).

The worst-performing large cap is Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), trading 5.09 per cent lower at $6.805. It is followed by shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets largely rose as two of the three Wall Street’s major indexes hit record highs on Thursday night and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says that he is confident a deal can be struck on the US debt ceiling by next week.

Leaders from the Group of 7 will be gathering in Hiroshima, Japan for the G-7 summit that kicks off today.

Japan stocks were on course to seeing its best week since October as the Nikkei 225 rose 0.86 per cent, maintaining the highest levels since 1990 and the Topix climbed 0.33 per cent— marking its sixth winning streak. Japan’s core inflation in April rose 3.4 per cent year-on-year, maintaining levels above the central bank’s target.

Company news

Austal (ASX:ASB) announced that Austal USA has been awarded US$3.2 billion for the design of up to 7 surveillance ships for the US Navy. CEO Paddy Gregg stated, “T-AGOS is a unique auxiliary naval platform that plays an integral role in supporting Navy’s antisubmarine warfare mission.” Shares are trading 26.3 per cent higher at $2.02.

Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM) and VinES sign non-binding MOU to conduct a feasibility study for a standalone Lithium Conversion Facility. Chairman and MD, Mr. Paul Lock said: “We are excited about the potential to contribute to the development of the lithium supply chain in Vietnam through this collaboration.” Shares are trading 22.9 per cent higher at 29.5 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1976.20 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.6 per cent lower at US$110.30 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 2.3 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.22 US cents.