Lending Association

ASX drifts ahead of RBA rates decision

Australian shares drifted in and out of negative territory in thin trading after a positive open as the market awaits the Reserve Bank’s rates decision at 2.30pm and governor Michele Bullock’s press conference. Consensus is for rates to remain unchanged.

In company news Boral’s board has recommended that shareholders reject Seven Group takeover offer. The company said independent expert Grant Samuel has concluded the offer is “not fair and not reasonable.” The independent expert has assessed fair value for Boral in the range of $6.50 to $7.13 per share.

In regional news the markets will be focussed on the outcome of the Bank of Japan policy meeting later in the day with traders anticipating a potential rate move.

At 11:30am, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.03 per cent higher at 7,677.90.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 1 point.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities [XUJ], up 1.03 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Communication Services [XTJ], down 0.76 per cent.

Energy stocks were among the best performers with Woodside Energy rising 0.7 per cent and Beach Energy adding 1.2 per cent as oil climbed prices hit a four-month high following Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian refineries and better than expected key Chinese economic data.
The best-performing large cap is Newmont Corporation (ASX:NEM), trading 2.61 per cent higher at $52.20. It is followed by shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN).

The worst-performing large cap is Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY), trading 4.12 per cent lower at $6.28. It is followed by shares in EBOS Group (ASX:EBO) and Pro Medicus (ASX:PME).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2166.00 an ounce.
Iron ore is 5.0 per cent higher at US$105.25 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.91 per cent rise.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.56 US cents.