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ASX down 0.29 per cent at noon as Chinas Caixin services falls short

China’s Caixin services manufacturing PMI for June fell short of expectations at 53.9 points, disappointing analysts who anticipated a stronger rebound at 56.2, while the Caixin composite PMI declined to 52.5 in April.

In response, Beijing and its central bank implemented key lending rate cuts in June to provide economic support amid ongoing concerns about the country’s anticipated economic boom.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.29 per cent lower at 7,257.80.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 13 points.

Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Communication Services, up 0.84 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Financials, down 0.68 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY), trading 5.72 per cent higher at $6.10. It is followed by shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) and SEEK (ASX:SEK).

The worst-performing large cap is Pro Medicus (ASX:PME), trading 1.81 per cent lower at $64.49. It is followed by shares in Cochlear (ASX:COH) and Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ).

Asian markets

Asia-Pacific markets largely fell as investors digest the release of private surveys on services activity from the region.

Services activity in Japan and China remained in expansion territory for the month while the pace of growth softened.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.16% and the Topix was fractionally higher. South Korea’s Kospi meanwhile lost 0.32% and the Kosdaq rose 0.44%.

Greater China markets were lower, with the Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component fractionally lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.24% while the Hang Seng Tech index gained 0.22%.

Company news
archTIS (ASX:AR9, OTCQB:ARHLF) has been awarded a contract with the Bank of Finland for its NC Protect security technology. Kurt Mueffelmann, Global COO and US President, said: “Organisations… are increasingly looking for independent encryption key management for their Microsoft 365 applications and SharePoint on-premises environments.” Shares are trading 6.1 per cent higher at 8.7 cents.

Krakatoa Resources (ASX:KTA) has has discovered high-grade lithium at the company’s King Tamba project in WA. Planning has now commenced for an imminent RC drilling program. Shares are trading 100 per cent higher at 4.6 cents.

Dreadnought Resources (ASX:DRE) has announced a 40% increase in resource tonnage at the Yin REE Ironstone Complex. This complex is located at the company’s 100% owned Mangaroon project in WA. MD Dean Tuck commented: “The upgraded independent resource confirms Yin as a high-grade and high resource intensity deposit.” Shares are trading 9.62 per cent higher at 5.7 cents.

Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1782.70 an ounce.

Iron ore is flat at US$110.50 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.3 per cent fall.

One Australian dollar is buying 66.87 US cents.