The ASX’s rate-sensitive sectors saw gains on Thursday as the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged, leading traders to speculate that US rates had reached their peak. Despite Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s hawkish comments about potential rate hikes, US equity markets rallied, and bond yields eased after the Fed’s decision, with analysts suggesting that the central bank may be approaching the end of its tightening cycle.
At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.9 per cent higher at 6,899.70.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 5 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 9.25 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 56.50 points.
The SPI futures are up 59 points.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 3.23 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Utilities, down 3.83 per cent.
The best-performing large cap was Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY), closing 7.45 per cent higher at $5.48. It was followed by shares in James Hardie Industries plc (ASX:JHX) and REA Group (ASX:REA).
The worst-performing large cap was Origin Energy (ASX:ORG), closing 6.62 per cent lower at $8.47. It was followed by shares in Santos (ASX:STO) and Amcor plc (ASX:AMC).
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1.11 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 1.21 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.11 per cent.
Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) announced that the Brookfield-led consortium of investors and EIG has significantly increased the cash consideration to best and final proposal of $9.53 per share. In response, Origin Chairman Scott Perkins said, “the revised consideration is now above the top end of the Independent Expert’s 30 June 2023 valuation range, allowing all shareholders to receive a certain cash value for their Origin shares.” Shares closed 6.62 per cent lower at $8.47.
Sunstone Metals (ASX:STM) announced that the Limon gold-silver discovery, within the Bramaderos Project, is continuing to grow, with more mineralisation identified surrounding the Central Shoot and up to 1km away. In response, Sunstone Managing Director Malcolm Norris said, “These results open up more new areas for drilling and enlarge our target zone.” Shares closed 5.88 per cent higher at 1. cents.
Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) announced that the 1st patient has been dosed in the Phase 1B CHM 1101 in their brain cancer clinical trial. The Phase 1B clinical trial builds off the recent positive Phase 1A clinical data. Shares closed flat at 2.9 cents.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,993.80 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.8 per cent higher at US$125.35 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.58 per cent rise.
Light crude is trading $0.87 higher at US$81.31 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 64.26 US cents.