ASX lower on Taiwanese tension: Aus shares down 0.4% at noon

Asia equities are trading mostly higher Wednesday. Mainland China and Hong Kong opened firmer, joining Japan and South Korea. Taiwan is slightly weaker with concerns around Pelosi’s visit. US futures are fluctuating in Asia following declines in the cash session.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.41 per cent or 28.40 points lower at 6969.70.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 43 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 2.01 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Utilities, down 1.65 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pinnacle Investment (ASX:PNI), trading 12.71 per cent higher at $11.35. It is followed by shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) and Zip Co (ASX:ZIP).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Champion Iron (ASX:CIA), trading 5.20 per cent lower at $4.46. It is followed by shares in Centuria I REIT (ASX:CIP) and City Chic Collective (ASX:CCX).

Company news

Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) today announced expansion plans with a $500m project to develop capacity at its Mount Weld mine and concentration plant to meet further market demand for rare earth materials. The project is expected to create up to 300 jobs during the construction phase and over 100 ongoing operational jobs in the Goldfields region of Western Australia. The demand for rare earth materials and magnets continues to accelerate “driven by growth in electric vehicles and wind energy”. Shares are trading 6.9 per cent higher at $9.49.

Star Minerals (ASX:SMS) today advised that it has received the assay results from its Phase 2 drilling campaign that was undertaken in anticipation of fast-tracking its knowledge of the geology and grade characteristics of the Tumblegum South gold project. Star Minerals’ CEO, Greg Almond, comments: “We are very satisfied to have completed this Phase 2 Resource definition programme. The assays confirm our initial assessment of Tumblegum South, and further support our decision to progress with our efforts to define and develop this gold deposit”. Shares are trading 9.1 per cent higher at 12 cents.

Platina Resources (ASX:PGM) today announced its plan to build a gold presence in Western Australia. PGM is seeking to expand its portfolio of gold exploration assets in Western Australia, applying for an exploration licence for its Jubilee gold project. Managing Director Corey Nolan said the Jubilee prospect offered significant potential. Further he added that once the tenement was granted, Platina could quickly mobilise via the Goldfields Highway and commence field activities. Shares are trading 16.7 per cent higher at 4 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1763.67 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.4 per cent higher at US$113.30 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.6 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.09 US cents.