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ASX down 0.13%: Australian CPI grows by 3.4% in January

Australia’s Consumer Price Index grew by 3.4% in January, falling below analysts’ expectations of a 3.6% increase, holding steady from December’s level. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to maintain the cash rate at 4.35% earlier in the month reflects efforts to address inflation, with upcoming attention focused on the RBA’s next cash rate decision scheduled for March 19, following a recent unexpected rise in wages.

At 11:30am, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.13 per cent lower at 7,652.90.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 2 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 1.81 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Communication Services, down 1.09 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is NEXTDC (ASX:NXT), trading 9.37 per cent higher at $16.58. It is followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and IGO (ASX:IGO).

The worst-performing large cap is Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF), trading 4.22 per cent lower at $5.68. It is followed by shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) and Worley (ASX:WOR).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2039.50 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1.9 per cent higher at US$118.20 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.7 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 65.46 US cents.