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ASX up 0.23% at noon following the release of jobless data

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.23 per cent higher at 7,340.50, following the release of a higher-than-anticipated unemployment rate.

The unexpected decrease in unemployment, coupled with a downward revision to 3.5% in May, has increased the likelihood of the Reserve Bank of Australia raising interest rates in June. Consequently, the retail and interest rate sensitive sectors have experienced significant changes in the stock market.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 10 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 0.53 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Health Care, down 0.25 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), trading 5.38 per cent higher at $75.94. It is followed by shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) and Ampol (ASX:ALD).

The worst-performing large cap is Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), trading 4.05 per cent lower at $12.08. It is followed by shares in ResMed (ASX:RMD) and Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE).

Asian markets

Asia-Pacific markets largely fell on Thursday ahead of a slew of economic data across the region.

Investors will be closely watching China’s one and five-year loan prime rates to see if the country’s government will attempt to spur growth by cutting rates, days after China’s second quarter GDP came in below expectations.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 opened down 0.48%, while the Topix was 0.22% lower as Japan posted a surprise trade surplus of 43 billion yen ($308 million), its first surplus in 23 months.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.54%, with the Kosdaq retreating from its 16-month high to see a larger loss of 0.8%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is set for a rebound after two straight days of losses, with futures at 18,970 compared to the HSI’s close of 18,952.31.

Company news

NOVONIX (NASDAQ:NVX, ASX:NVX) announced that its Battery Technology Solutions division successfully completed the commissioning of its 10 tonnes per annum cathode pilot line. In response, Dr. Chris Burns, CEO of NOVONIX, noted, “This capability places us in a unique position to serve the nickel-based cathode material market, which we and industry experts believe will require over 3 million tonnes per annum and represent an over $100B market opportunity by 2030.” Shares are trading 4.37 per cent lower at 98.5 cents at noon.

BPH Global (ASX:BP8) announces that they are in China for a series of commercial meetings and prospective cornerstone investor meetings over a 3-4 week period commencing this week. These include wide and deep engagements with potential China-based cornerstone investors. Shares are trading 20 per cent lower at 0.2 cents at noon.

AML3D (ASX:AL3) announced the sale of an industrial-scale ARCEMY® metal 3D printing system to be located at the US Navy’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) in Danville, Va. AML3D Interim CEO Sean Ebert said: “We are extremely pleased the US Navy has purchased this ARCEMY® ‘X-Edition 6700’ system, demonstrating their confidence in our technology and is a validation of our strategic focus on delivering ARCEMY® systems to the US maritime and defence industries. Shares are trading 11.1 per cent higher at 6 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2025.90 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1.6 per cent lower at US$114.00 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.79 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 68.24 US cents.