The ASX experienced a rise in its benchmark index, the S&P/ASX 200, by 0.5%, gaining 34 points to reach 6988.2 at midday. This increase was primarily driven by a rally in energy and mining stocks, which was a response to the surge in oil prices in Asia. The oil price surge was triggered by recent violent incidents involving Hamas in Israel, which caused oil prices to spike by over 4%. Additionally, investors turned to gold as a safe haven asset amid these developments.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 42 points.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is Energy, up 2.85 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Consumer Staples, down 0.83 per cent.
The best-performing large cap is Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), trading 6.29 per cent higher at $3.55. It is followed by shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM).
The worst-performing large cap is Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN), trading 2.58 per cent lower at $4.90. It is followed by shares in Medibank Private (ASX:MPL) and EBOS Group (ASX:EBO).
Asia-Pacific markets are set for a positive start to the week as Chinese markets come back from a week long Golden Week holiday.
Investors will be watching inflation readings and trade data out from China and India later this week, as well as a monetary policy decision from Singapore’s central bank.
Japan and South Korea’s markets are closed Monday for a holiday.
Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 17,724, pointing to a stronger open compared to the HSI’s last close of 17,485.98.
Hong Kong however, has raised its typhoon warning to Signal 8 for Typhoon Koinu, which would cancel the morning session if it is not lifted before 9 a.m. local time.
Radiopharm Theranostics (ASX:RAD) announced it has been granted Human Research Ethics Committee approval to commence its First-In-Human Phase I study in Australia for the Company’s therapy for patients with PDL1- positive non-small cell lung cancer. The trial is expected to start shortly. Shares are trading 3.85 per cent higher at 13.5 cents.
Talon Energy (ASX:TPD) announced an update on the Walyering gas field production. The update states that ~52 TJs of gross commissioning gas was sold prior to commencement of firm gas sales which has been invoiced. Shares are trading 2.38 per cent lower at 20.5 cents.
Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) announced that very positive results have been received from the maiden metallurgical testwork program underway at the Company’s Andover Lithium Project located in the West Pilbara region of Western Australia. Commenting on these results, Managing Director, Mr Tony Rovira said, “the metallurgical testwork completed to date indicates that processing of ore from the Project will be undertaken via industry-standard whole-of-ore flotation to produce a spodumene concentrate.” Shares are trading 10.4 per cent lower at $2.15.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1863.20 an ounce.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.5 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 63.75 US cents.