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ASX down 1.3% near noon: Energy down 1.82%

The Australian sharemarket experienced a decline at the opening, influenced by a pause in the bull market on Wall Street the previous Friday. Particularly, the materials, healthcare and energy sectors performed poorly, each dropping over 1%. BHP, a major index constituent, experienced a percentage loss. CSL, a blood plasma collector, also saw a decline of 1.8%.

Investor sentiment has been buoyed by expectations of central banks lowering interest rates amidst global inflation deceleration, driving enthusiasm for growth stocks and leading to new highs in world equity benchmarks, despite the bull market pause. 

Looking ahead, traders are focused on the US February consumer price index report, expected to demonstrate a further slowdown in core prices, suggesting a controlled inflationary environment.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 1.31 per cent lower at 7,744.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 95 points.

Best and worst performers

All sectors are in the red. The sector with the fewest losses is Consumer Staples, down 0.45 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 1.82 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is EBOS Group (ASX:EBO), trading 0.94 per cent higher at $34.43. It is followed by shares in Newmont Corporation (ASX:NEM) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

The worst-performing large cap is Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ), trading 8.88 per cent lower at $5.44. It is followed by shares in ResMed (ASX:RMD) and Seven Group Holdings (ASX:SVW).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2188.00 an ounce.

Iron ore is 2.0 per cent lower at US$116.65 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 2.5 per cent fall.

One Australian dollar is buying 66.24 US cents.