LA Private

ASX falls 0.26% to close out its first weekly loss in three weeks

The Australian sharemarket ended the week down 0.4 per cent after falling by 0.26 per cent at 7,342.90. This was led by losses in miners and banks. The fall was attributed to a build-up in port inventories, causing investor sentiment for iron ore to drop and resulting in a third straight day of plunging Chinese and Singapore iron ore futures. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) dropped 2.8 per cent, while Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) and Champion Iron (ASX:CIA) fell by 4.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively. BHP Group (ASX:BHP) also cut production targets for some of its mines and its shares fell by 2.3 per cent.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 29 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 1.25 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 6 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 39 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Industrials, up 0.65 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Materials, down 1.48 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), closing 5.88 per cent higher at $7.38. It was followed by shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) and Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY).

The worst-performing large cap was Infratil (ASX:IFT), closing 4.7 per cent lower at $8.11. It was followed by shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and Rio Tinto Group (ASX:RIO).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.33 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.99 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 1.29 per cent.

Company news

Equatorial Resources (ASX:EQX) announced that it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire the Nimba Alliance Iron Ore Project in West Africa. The Project was previously owned by an international consortium of major mining companies, including BHP Group Limited (ASX:BHP). Shares closed 20.7 per cent higher at 17.5 cents.

RBR Group (ASX:RBR) announced an operational update, in which PD has completed works on the WBHO camp and services project and is in the process of handing over the facility to the customer. In response, Executive Chairman, Ian Macpherson commented, “The Company sees the strong performance of PD on these initial contracts as a platform from which to build in this key focus area.” Shares closed 50 per cent higher at 0.3 cents.

Bass Oil (ASX:BAS) released their quarterly report, in which production increased by 18 per cent, and cash increased by 19.7 per cent. Now looking ahead, Managing Director Mr Tino Guglielmo, commented: “The 2023 work program is well underway and focused on growing the Company into a mid-tier oil and gas producer.” Shares closed 7.69 per cent higher at 13.5 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,006.80 an ounce.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 4 per cent fall.
Light crude is trading $1.87 lower at US$77.29 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.97 US cents.