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GDP grew by 0.2% in March quarter: ASX up 0.07% at noon

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.07 per cent higher at 7,134.60.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s economy grew by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of the year, compared to 0.6 per cent in the previous quarter. This growth rate was below the forecast of 0.3 per cent. The slowdown in economic expansion was attributed to inflation and higher interest rates, which led to a decrease in demand. This quarter’s growth rate is the lowest since the contraction experienced during the COVID-19 Delta lockdown in September 2021. The primary contributor to GDP growth was domestic demand, while net trade had a negative impact on growth due to a stronger increase in imports compared to exports. On an annual basis, gross domestic product expanded by 2.3 per cent, falling short of the consensus forecast of 2.4 per cent. Additionally, the terms of trade, which measure the ratio of export prices to import prices, increased by 2.8 per cent.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 7 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 0.9 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 1.05 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is The Lottery Corporation (ASX:TLC), trading 1.95 per cent higher at $4.965. It is followed by shares in Altium (ASX:ALU) and Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW).

The worst-performing large cap is Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL), trading 1.69 per cent lower at $2.900. It is followed by shares in Orica (ASX:ORI) and Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ).

Asian news

The rally in Japanese stocks seemed to have taken a pause with the Nikkei 225 sliding 1.42 per cent, leading losses in the region. The Topix saw a smaller loss of 1 per cent.

South Korea’s markets came back from a public holiday with a positive start, with the Kospi climbing 0.31 per cent and the Kosdaq 0.9 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is set for a rebound after slipping slightly in Wednesday’s session, with futures at 19,351 compared to the HSI’s close of 19,099.28.

Company news

NOVONIX (ASX:NVX) have signed an agreement for the joint research and development of artificial graphite anode material for lithium-ion batteries. Also, in a separate agreement, NOVONIX has agreed to issue an aggregate principal amount of US$30 million unsecured convertible notes to LGES. Shares are trading 7.22 per cent higher at $1.04.

Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) announced the completion of a major resource definition drilling program at the Colina Lithium Deposit in Brazil. VP of Operations – Americas, Tony Greenaway commented: “We believe that we will see a significant expansion in the JORC resource for Colina, given the exceptional results we have been seeing in our drilling this year.” Shares are trading 7.06 per cent higher at 18.2 cents.

Andromeda Metals (ASX:ADN) signed a Term Sheet for the supply of high quality kaolin from the Great White Project during the first 5 years of production, into China. CEO & MD said, “Sales of our premium refined Great White CRM product fits strategic positioning and commercial strategy.” Shares are trading 11.4 per cent higher at 3.9 cents.

Jindalee Resources (ASX:JRL) has commenced a PFS on their McDermitt Lithium Project in Oregon, USA. For the PFS, the Company has brought in global engineering and maintenance company Fluor Corporation. Shares are trading 0.49 per cent lower at $2.04.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1981.40 an ounce.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.36 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.79 US cents.