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ASX up 0.17% at noon as debt ceiling discussions are becoming “productive”

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.17 per cent higher at 7,275.40.

This evening, Wall Street is poised for an upward movement as discussions aimed at increasing the debt ceiling were described as “productive.” Futures for the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq showed gains of approximately 0.3 percent. 

Around noon, the value of the dollar is around US66.60c.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 14 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, up 1.09 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Consumer Staples, down 0.56 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), trading 2.2 per cent higher at $6.98. It is followed by shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Computershare (ASX:CPU).

The worst-performing large cap is Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL), trading 3.19 per cent lower at $35.10. It is followed by shares in Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) and Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets rose even as talks between U.S President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ended without a deal.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he had a “productive” and “professional” meeting, adding that “I think the tone tonight was better than any other night we’ve had discussions,” McCarthy said outside the West Wing following the hourlong meeting.

Asian markets will be watching private surveys on Australia and Japan’s manufacturing and services activity released today, as well as Singapore’s inflation numbers for April.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 opened 0.6 per cent up, while the Topix rose 0.39 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.31 per cent and the Kosdaq was also 0.47 per cent higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index looks set for a rebound. Futures for the HSI stood at 19,744 compared to the HSI’s close of 19,678.17.

Company news

Rex Minerals (ASX:RXM) has signed a letter of intent with Hitachi. The LOI encompasses the allocation of Ultra-class mining equipment to Rex. Rex’s CEO, Richard Laufmann, “[the LOI] secures the Ultra-class fleet for Rex without any immediate financial commitment.” Shares are trading 3.33 per cent higher at 23.3 cents.

Omega’s (ASX:OMA) first drilling campaign results confirm a major gas system. Omega’s MD Lauren Bennett commented: “Drilling has shown an even greater thickness of hydrocarbon-rich zones.” Shares are trading 10.9 per cent higher at 25.5 cents.

Hartshead Resources (ASX:HHR) announced that it is nearing completion of the FDP for the Phase I development of the Anning and Somerville gas fields. Project plan focussed on first gas production for 2025 is on track, following completion of the farm-out and consequential equity funding for development. Shares are trading 8.33 per cent higher at 2.6 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1982.30 an ounce.
Iron ore is 3.3 per cent lower at US$104.85 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.0 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.49 US cents.