• ASX falls further today as rate cut bets slashed
  • APM Human Services down 40pc, Liontown 10pc
  • BHP Group down after disappointing production guidance

 

Aussie shares fell further by -0.6% on Thursday following a weak lead from Wall Street.

Overnight, rates sensitive stocks led the selloff in New York after a stronger than expected US retail sales print dashed hopes of a Fed rate cut in March.

European markets also edged lower after a strong print in UK consumer price index, which rose from 3.9% in November to 4% in December.

Meanwhile, commodities were mostly down as the US dollar gained more ground. Iron ore prices fell around 2%, while the gold price retreated by another -1%.

On the ASX today, energy, gold  lithium miners, and real estate stocks led the laggards.

Local traders also reacted to the ABS’s labour report, which shows that unemployment in Australia remained at 3.9% in December, despite  65,000 jobs lost during the month.

 

 

Across the region, most Asian stock markets fell as traders scrapped March rate cut bets.

Samsung shares in Seoul rose just 1% despite the company unveiling its “Galaxy AI” as a core feature of its new Samsung Galaxy S24 series smartphones.

Looking ahead to tonight in the US, the weekly new unemployment claims are due out, together with the December housing starts.

Elsewhere, the European Central Bank (ECB) will release the minutes of its December monetary policy meeting.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
IFT Infratil Limited 9.57 2.24 33,806 $7,792,833,026
MEZ Meridian Energy 5.24 1.75 21,994 $6,520,284,030
NHF NIB Holdings Limited 7.64 1.87 442,928 $3,632,075,663
BFL Bsp Financial Group 5.60 1.82 41,000 $2,569,709,885
AMP AMP Limited 0.94 1.62 6,798,678 $2,535,499,836
GNE Genesis Energy Ltd 2.36 1.72 28,065 $2,493,165,452
EMR Emerald Res NL 3.25 2.69 1,501,752 $1,974,375,998
BAP Bapcor Limited 5.36 2.00 751,084 $1,781,915,625
360 Life360 Inc. 7.07 3.06 380,957 $1,402,646,981
MAD Mader Group Limited 7.18 2.50 51,805 $1,400,000,000
HLI Helia Group Limited 4.55 2.25 840,100 $1,338,580,848
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Boral Ltd (BLD) was up 0.7% after announcing the resignation of CFO Belinda Shaw. Stefan Camphausen will now join Boral as CFO, bringing his considerable background as a CFO of complex industrial organisations in Australia and in Europe.

Infratil (ASX:IFT) rose 2% after revealing that its portfolio company, CDC, has entered into over 110MW of new customer contracts from new and existing customers across Australia and New Zealand.

Combined with the additional contracts secured throughout the last 12 months, CDC’s total contracted capacity has increased by over 200MW over the past 12 months.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
APM APM Human Services 0.81 -39.06 18,832,738 $1,215,266,078
LTR Liontown Resources 1.22 -10.29 39,545,352 $3,293,899,267
SNZ Summerset Grp Hldgs 9.95 -5.87 2,470 $2,476,354,208
CRN Coronado Global Res 1.62 -4.99 1,777,547 $2,858,353,610
CMW Cromwell Prop 0.38 -4.43 1,516,635 $1,034,452,346
CIA Champion Iron Ltd 7.71 -4.34 1,134,933 $4,177,129,150
STX Strike Energy Ltd 0.45 -4.26 6,980,184 $1,345,246,154
IGO IGO Limited 7.17 -3.89 5,126,898 $5,649,217,885
NIC Nickel Industries 0.59 -3.69 5,070,232 $2,614,344,027
WPR Waypoint REIT 2.27 -3.40 1,342,900 $1,578,768,885
ARF Arena REIT. 3.56 -3.26 338,403 $1,302,277,738
RGN Region Group 2.13 -3.18 1,932,165 $2,556,023,026
DOW Downer EDI Limited 4.04 -3.12 932,685 $2,800,462,241
CHC Charter Hall Group 11.18 -2.95 966,350 $5,448,927,732
VCX Vicinity Centres 1.93 -2.89 6,446,401 $9,059,027,962
SGP Stockland 4.29 -2.83 5,234,696 $10,527,427,029
PXA Pexagroup 10.45 -2.79 340,284 $1,907,033,510
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International human services group, APM Human Services (ASX:APM) fell almost -40% after issuing a first half profit warning.

The company said its group forecast preliminary and unaudited revenue for the first half is $1.14 billion, underlying EBITDA is $148 million, and underlying net profit of $55 million.

Shares in lithium play Liontown (ASX:LTR) sank -10% today after NYSE-listed lithium giant Albemarle reportedly sold its 4% stake overnight in the Gina Rinehart-backed lithium group.

The shares were traded at $1.26 each, marking a 7.4% reduction from LTR’s closing price of $1.36/share on Wednesday, with the sale coming as Albemarle outlined cost-cutting measures to “re-phase its organic growth investments and optimise its cost structure in response to changing end-market conditions, particularly in the lithium value chain”.

BHP Group (ASX:LBHP) fell almost -1.5% after disappointing investors with its its Q2 update this morning.

Iron ore production was 65.8mt for the quarter, up 4% from previous quarter but down 2% from the pcp.

Nickel output grew by 11% and 4% respectively. Copper production rose by 3% and 7%. Metallurgical coal output dropped by 18% and 17%, while Energy coal production rose by 35% and 36%.

Importantly, BHP has lowered its full year guidance by 5Mt – 6Mt, with the new expected total somewhere around 23Mt – 25Mt.

Alumina (ASX:AWC) fell almost -2% after its JV partner Alcoa reported a $US150m December quarter loss, and $US651m loss for the full year.

The company said the metallurgical alumina market remains in tight supply, compounded by recent production cuts in China, and is expected to remain tight following the full curtailment of the Kwinana refinery in 2Q24.

Ampol (ASX:ALD) fell -2.5% after reporting that its December quarter refinery volumes fell to 1.428ML from 1.589ML for the December quarter 2022.

The Lytton Refinery volumes for the fourth quarter totalled 1,428 million litres compared with 1,580 million litres in the pcp.