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ASX up 0.75% at noon: June quarter inflation lower than expected

The June quarter headline inflation came in at 6 per cent, lower than the expected 6.2 per cent.

Similarly, the trimmed mean inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, eased to 5.9 per cent, below the expected 6 per cent.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, both headline and trimmed mean inflation slowed down, with headline inflation at 0.8 per cent (expected 1 per cent) and trimmed mean inflation at 0.9 per cent (expected 1.1 per cent).

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.75 per cent higher at 7,394.80.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 49 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, up 1.83 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Health Care, down 0.45 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), trading 3.57 per cent higher at $73.48. It is followed by shares in Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) and IDP Education (ASX:IEL).

The worst-performing large cap is Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ), trading 1.17 per cent lower at $5.05. It is followed by shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Qube Holdings (ASX:QUB).

Asian markets

Asia-Pacific markets were largely down as investors brace for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate decision on Wednesday.

The Fed is expected to approve what would be the 11th interest rate increase since March 2022.

Markets are pricing in an absolute certainty that the Fed will approve a quarter percentage point hike that will take its benchmark borrowing rate to a target range of 5.25%-5.5%. That would push the upper boundary of the federal funds rate to its highest level since January 2001.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.16%, extending its losses from Tuesday, while the Topix also sunk 0.18%.

South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.97%, and the Kosdaq saw a smaller loss of 0.24%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index retreated from Tuesday’s rally and inched down 0.56%, while mainland Chinese market also all fell.

The Shanghai Composite was down marginally, while the Shenzhen Component lost 0.31%.

Company news

QX Resources (ASX:QXR) announced that discussions and due diligence have advanced on the Liberty Lithium Brine Project in the California, USA. Commenting on this announcement, CEO, stated, “Ongoing studies, detailed due diligence and a site visit show QXR that the Liberty Lithium Project is truly large scale with repeatable results and a pathway to development.” Shares are trading 8.7 per cent higher at 2.5 cents.

Antisense Therapeutics [ASX:ANP | US OTC:ATHJY | FSE:AWY] announced strong results from their positive new DMD Combination Therapy Data in mdx mice. In response, Dr George Tachas, the Director of Drug Discovery and Patents said, “These study results are exciting and suggest the potential for ATL1102 in combination with dystrophin restoration drugs to improve therapeutic outcomes in DMD patients.” Shares are trading 1.85 per cent higher at 5.5 cents.

West Wits Mining (ASX:WWI) has updated its DFS for the Witwatersrand Basin Project in Johannesburg, South Africa. In response, Chairman, Michael Quinert said, “With an impressive increase of US$254 million (95%) in Free Cashflow, the project is set to generate US$522 million.” Shares are trading 11.1 per cent higher at 2 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2004.10 an ounce.

Iron ore is 2.0 per cent higher at US$116.75 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.82 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 67.45 US cents.