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Oil prices continue to fall: ASX 0.27% higher at noon

Overnight, the S&P 500 experienced a 0.6 per cent increase, signalling its entry into a bull market. Similarly, the Nasdaq rose by 1 per cent, and the Dow Jones saw a gain of 0.5 per cent. 

The dollar had a value of US67.10c around noon.

Oil prices are set to decline for the second consecutive week due to renewed concerns about demand. Despite Saudi Arabia’s announcement of unilaterally reducing production, which initially boosted prices, the market sentiment shifted due to growing worries about a decrease in consumption.

West Texas Intermediate dropped close to $71 per barrel and has experienced a decline of over 1 per cent throughout the week. The optimism surrounding Saudi Arabia’s production cut was quickly overshadowed by a deteriorating consumption outlook.

Overall, at noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.27 per cent higher at 7,119.10.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 26 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 1.78 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 0.55 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is (ASX:CAR), trading 2.76 per cent higher at $23.635. It is followed by shares in WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) and Xero (ASX:XRO).

The worst-performing large cap is Worley (ASX:WOR), trading 1.16 per cent lower at $16.25. It is followed by shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation (ASX:FPH).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets are set to rise after the S&P 500 hit a new high for 2023 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a third straight day of gains.

A key focus for next week would be the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on June 13 and 14, especially after jobless claims increased more than expected to their highest since October 2021, a potential sign that the labour market is softening up after more than a year of interest rate hikes.

Investors digested China’s consumer price index, which saw a 0.2 per cent rise in May and its producer prices that fell 4.6 per cent year on year, marking the steepest drop since June 2016.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 0.3 per cent, extending its rally to three straight days. However, mainland Chinese markets were more mixed after the CPI announcement, with the Shanghai Composite down marginally and the Shenzhen Component up 0.1 per cent.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 popped 1.54 per cent, reversing some of its losses the last two days, while the Topix gained 1.19 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi inched 0.75 per cent higher and the Kosdaq moved up 1.14 per cent.

Company news

WebMD Health Services will acquire Limeade (ASX:LME) for A$0.425 per share. Henry Albrecht, Limeade CEO, commented, “We are confident that the combination will bring together WebMD Health Services human expertise and Limeade technical innovation into a comprehensive solution.” Shares are trading 305 per cent higher at 40.5 cents.

VRX Silica (ASX:VRX) announced that the Environmental Review Document (ERD) for its Arrowsmith North Silica Sand Project has been accepted by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. VRX MD Bruce Maluish said, “The ERD seeks approval for 30 years of mining. The development area has the potential to underpin a project lasting up to 60 years.” Shares are trading 27.3 per cent higher at 14 cents.

Marquee Resources (ASX:MQR) announced that it has agreed to accelerate the Farm-In agreement with Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) at the West Spargoville Project. Executive Chairman, Mr Charles Thomas, commented, “By accelerating the Farm-In agreement and officially forming this JV with MinRes, we hope to further capitalise on the extensive knowledge and technical capabilities that they have.” Shares are trading 59.1 per cent higher at 3.5 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1980.00 an ounce.
Iron ore is 3.1 per cent higher at US$114.50 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.21 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.04 US cents.