On Wednesday, the stock market experienced a second consecutive day of gains as investors eagerly anticipated the Federal Reserve’s policy statement, hoping to gain insights into the central bank’s future interest rate decisions. The primary focus is on the Fed’s potential guidance, and it is widely anticipated that they will maintain their current interest rates. The statement is expected to be released on Wednesday, followed by a press conference by Chairman Jerome Powell half an hour later.
At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.85 per cent higher at 6,838.30.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of -63 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of -7.5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of -22.5 points.
The SPI futures are up 58 points.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was REITs, up 1.85 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Utilities, down 0.16 per cent.
The best-performing large cap was ResMed (ASX:RMD), closing 4.18 per cent higher at $22.70. It was followed by shares in QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) and Ampol (ASX:ALD).
The worst-performing large cap was Allkem (ASX:AKE), closing 3.88 per cent lower at $9.17. It was followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL).
NOVONIX Limited (NASDAQ:NVX, ASX:NVX) has finalised its US$100 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Energy to expand domestic production of high-performance, synthetic graphite anode materials at its Riverside facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In response, Dr. Chris Burns, CEO of NOVONIX, “the ability to deploy $100 million towards Riverside’s recently increased production targets will have an immediate beneficial impact on the Company’s plans and the battery materials supply chain here in North America.” Shares closed 10.37 per cent higher at 74.5 cents.
Wildcat Resources (ASX:WC8) announced that Mineral Resource has increased its stake in the Company, now owning 19.85% of Wildcat’s total issued shares. In response, Wildcat Chairman Jeff Elliott stated: “The acquisition by Mineral Resources of this substantial shareholding provides independent validation of the potential of our Tabba Tabba Lithium Project and the ability to transform it into a Tier-1 lithium asset. Shares closed 7.09 per cent higher at 76 cents.
Ioneer (ASX:INR, NASDAQ:IONR) and EcoPro Innovation signed a Research and Development Memorandum of Understanding. Ioneer Executive Chairman, James Calaway, said, “the ultimate goal of EcoPro and Ioneer is to increase the supply of refined lithium materials for the U.S. EV supply chain and create hundreds of good-paying jobs in Nevada and beyond.” Shares closed 10.7 per cent higher at 16 cents.
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 2.09 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost -0.16 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.18 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,985.80 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.2 per cent higher at US$123.15 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.89 per cent rise.
Light crude is trading $0.12 higher at US$81.14 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 63.31 US cents.