• ASX gained for fifth day in a row
  • All sectors rose except for Healthcare, which was dragged down by CSL
  • The all-crucial US CPI data due out later tonight


The ASX200 index closed 0.2% higher on Thursday, taking its winning streak to five straight days.

All sectors except for Healthcare finished higher, as traders parsed through US Federal Reserve board minutes released overnight.

The minutes suggested that Fed policymakers saw more reason for caution, bolstering hopes that rates have peaked. However, the minutes also noted that rates won’t come down until policymakers are convinced inflation is heading back to 2%.

Healthcare was the biggest loser, down by 4% on the back of the CSL (ASX:CSL) selloff.

CSL, Australia’s biggest biotech, plunged almost 7% on no specific news. There was, however, news overnight that might have affected the CSL share price.

Drugmaker Novo Nordisk said  its diabetes and weight-loss drug Ozempic could delay the progression of chronic kidney disease. This could impact the CSL share price as the company’s own Swiss subsidiary Vifor is involved in kidney diseases drugs.

Across the region, Asian stock markets finished higher after China’s sovereign wealth fund made a move to buy shares of the country’s largest banks to shore up support.

To data… the ABS says that  Australia’s weekly payroll jobs growth over the month remained flat. The ABS said the figures would have shown a decline had it not been for the Voice referendum, which increased electoral jobs during the period.

And later tonight, more crucial data is expected in the US, including the consumer price index (CPI) and jobless claims figures.



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Lithium stocks Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Allkem (ASX:AKE) were two of the best performers today.

Insurance stocks IAG (ASX:IAG) and Suncorp (ASX:SUN) also gained.



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Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH) tumbled 6% after reporting that its group revenue fell by 6.1% in Q1. Wagering turnover was down 0.9% and Wagering & Media revenue was down 5.4%. The company cites softer macro-economic environment as a major factor.

Air New Zealand  (ASX:AIZ) dropped 3% after providing a guidance for H1FY24 to be in the range of $180 million to $230 million. The airline, however, cautions against extrapolating first half FY24 earnings guidance to the full year, given the many and ongoing uncertainties in the trading environment.

Takeover target Liontown (ASX:LTR) fell 1.3% after giving a seven-day extension to Albemarle for its due diligence period. Albemarle had earlier offered LTR shareholders $3-a-share in cash.