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ASX up 0.26% near noon: Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s indication of an expected pivot to rate cuts

Australian shares rose by 0.2% in early trading, buoyed by the tech sector’s gains following a positive trend on Wall Street, sparked by US Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s indication of an expected pivot to rate cuts in 2024. However, market gains were limited as shares in key players like BHP, Rio Tinto, South32, and Woodside declined after going ex-dividend. Meanwhile, in the US, the Nasdaq closed up by 0.6%, with Nvidia reaching a record high of $887 per share, while Bitcoin rebounded above $67,000 and gold surged to a record high of $2160.55 per ounce, contributing to the Australian dollar’s rise to US65.7¢.

At 11:30, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.26 per cent higher at 7,753.5.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 39 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities, up 1.2 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 1.05 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is ResMed (ASX:RMD), trading 3.22 per cent higher at $28.21. It is followed by shares in Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST).

The worst-performing large cap is Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA), trading 2.67 per cent lower at $3.465. It is followed by shares in Woodside Energy Group (ASX:WDS) and Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2155.60 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.4 per cent higher at US$117.70 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.48 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 65.64 US cents.