• ASX 200 index claims record high after a titanic day-long struggle
  • High water mark comes as CPI print came in lower than expected
  • IGO has mothballed its nickel project as price falls knacker the mine’s ability to make cash

 

The ASX 200 advanced again to finally surpass its all-time high, after rising by +0.95% on Wednesday.

Stocks rallied after the December quarter CPI came in lower than expected.

According to ABS data released today, inflation in Australia in the 12 months to December rose by 4.1%, a two year low. The market had earlier expected a 4.3% print.

“Today’s downside surprise on inflation is more good news for the RBA, following yesterday’s dismal retail sales print and slowing employment,” said Josh Gilbert, market analyst at eToro.

“This signals the end of the RBA’s tightening cycle and places rate cuts on the agenda as early as June.”

Annual inflation has now fallen from a peak of 7.8% reported in December 2022.

The Aussie dollar meanwhile fell -0.5% on the news, trading now at US65.59c.

To the ASX, all 11 sectors closed in the green, led by Utilities and Energy sectors, while interest rates sensitive sectors Real Estate and Finance also got plenty of bids.

Across the region, Asian stock markets were mixed today after China data showed that its factory activity had contracted for a fourth straight month.

The market’s focus will now turn to the Fed interest rates decision later tonight (tomorrow AM AEDT).

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
NIC Nickel Industries 0.79 8.62 18,210,999 $3,107,212,163
ERA Energy Resources 0.06 7.14 278,895 $1,240,304,755
TAH TABCORP 0.81 6.25 2,853,891 $1,734,632,352
CIA Champion Iron Ltd 8.54 4.85 793,514 $4,218,589,489
MCY Mercury NZ Limited 6.30 4.83 7,109 $8,361,275,706
SIG Sigma Health Ltd 1.04 4.80 6,683,726 $1,615,547,474
SGR The Star Ent Grp 0.56 4.72 15,484,579 $1,520,400,865
ASK Abacus Storage King 1.14 4.34 720,444 $1,438,942,743
SNZ Summerset Grp Hldgs 10.09 4.02 599 $2,272,529,405
SLX Silex Systems 5.19 4.01 1,411,671 $1,177,370,914
HMC HMC Capital Limited 6.17 3.79 230,686 $2,070,509,982
VUK Virgin Money Uk PLC 3.08 3.70 883,354 $1,946,296,661
HDN Homeco Daily Needs 1.27 3.69 3,969,602 $2,534,866,290
PDN Paladin Energy Ltd 1.30 3.60 18,477,351 $3,729,219,416
DYL Deep Yellow Limited 1.46 3.56 4,372,977 $1,074,331,797
NSR National Storage 2.31 3.36 1,517,352 $3,035,318,727
NUF Nufarm Limited 5.57 3.15 556,392 $2,063,714,117
VNT Ventiaservicesgroup 3.29 3.13 1,309,268 $2,728,995,380
TWE Treasury Wine Estate 10.71 2.83 1,488,006 $8,446,949,292
MGR Mirvac Group 2.19 2.82 7,412,104 $8,404,682,262
DXS Dexus 7.81 2.70 1,365,105 $8,174,295,870
QBE QBE Insurance Group 15.85 2.69 2,062,139 $23,051,113,233
ARF Arena REIT. 3.64 2.68 371,226 $1,252,734,563
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Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) rose over 2% after reporting that its December quarter production was 4% lower than the prior quarter, due to unplanned commercial turndown after an LNG vessel lost power at the Curtis Island facility in late November.

HY FTY24 production however was 3% higher compared to the pcp, driven by increased number of wells online and effective well optimisation activity.

Champion Iron (ASX:CIA) reported record quarterly production of 4.0M wmt, surpassing Bloom Lake’s expanded nameplate capacity.

CIA also reported revenue of $507m for Q3, EBITDA of $247m, and EPS of $0.24.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
SDR Siteminder 5.08 -7.39 1,838,599 $1,518,322,261
RED Red 5 Limited 0.31 -5.30 8,544,407 $1,143,054,181
AD8 Audinate Group Ltd 16.40 -5.15 283,193 $1,436,951,774
CCP Credit Corp Group 16.83 -4.70 703,845 $1,202,060,677
LTM Arcadium Lithium PLC 7.81 -3.58 1,010,555 $4,395,159,014
AX1 Accent Group Ltd 2.01 -3.37 1,579,767 $1,171,150,648
BGL Bellevue Gold Ltd 1.33 -3.10 5,278,784 $1,576,771,474
DMP Domino Pizza Enterpr 40.31 -2.63 2,025,507 $3,718,296,536
IGO IGO Limited 7.54 -2.52 6,181,554 $5,853,680,194
DDR Dicker Data Limited 11.20 -2.18 163,108 $2,064,314,569
NEU Neuren Pharmaceut. 23.55 -1.92 242,566 $3,055,648,881
CTD Corp Travel Limited 20.54 -1.82 178,642 $3,061,134,606
MMS McMillan Shakespeare 17.21 -1.69 294,907 $1,218,752,920
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Neuren (ASX:NEU) fell -2% after reporting that net sales for Q3 were US$66.9 million, and guidance for net sales in Q4 is between US$80-87.5 million.

Royalty to Neuren is currently 10% of net sales, or $10.4 million earned for Q3. Approximately $12.1-13.2 million is anticipated for Q4.

Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) fell after saying that its NPAT for the full FY24 could come in at the bottom of the $35-$45m range.

During the half, CCP generated 16% growth in its consumer loan book to a record gross closing balance of $414 million.

Statutory NPAT for the half year however was a loss of $12.1 million, driven by the previously announced impairment of the company’s US Purchased Debt Ledger (PDL) book.

IGO (ASX:IGO) revealed that after a review of the Cosmos Project, it has made the decision to transition the nickel project into care and maintenance.

IGO says the review demonstrated a reduction in the expected life of mine, delays in getting the mine to full capacity to fill the processing plant, and further increases in operating and capital costs. In addition, commodity prices have deteriorated significantly since the review commenced, impacting the economics of Cosmos.

Separately, IGO reported lower QoQ production for the quarter, driven by lower ore processed and lower overall feed grades. The company also said its production cash costs were higher in the quarter as a result of lower production and higher processing costs related primarily to maintenance.