• ASX skids 1pc, erasing most of Friday’s gains
  • Mining stocks hit hard after commodity prices took battering
  • Red 5 and Silver Lake announce a “merger of equals” deal


The ASX 200 erased most of Friday’s gains after losing ground by around -1% on Monday.

According to data, February is historically one of the rockiest month for stocks, particularly US stocks.

ASX miners were hit hard today – with the S&P XMJ index falling -2.5% – after commodity prices took a battering across the board on Friday.

Biggest decliners today were lithium stocks, including Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), and IGO (ASX:IGO) –  both down over 4%.

Gold and oil stocks also struggled after bullion and crude rices fell on the back of stronger US dollar.

The US dollar has been rising after hawkish comments from Fed boss Jerome Powell last week, as well as the shocking US non-farm payroll report on Friday, which saw the US adding 353,000 jobs in January, blowing away predictions.

The RBA board has commenced its first ever two-day policy meeting today, with a rates decision due tomorrow.

The new meeting format is similar to the US Fed, and could deliver a “further softening of its already mild tightening bias,” according to AMP Economist’s Dr. Shane Oliver.

Meanwhile across the region, Asian stock markets mainly fell today as bond yields surge.

“The medium caps and the small caps are under intense selling pressure as some investors have been betting on more national team support for the big caps,” Ken Wong at Eastspring Investments told Bloomberg, referring to stocks in mainland China.



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Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) rose after announcing that its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Visage Imaging, has launched the groundbreaking Visage Ease VP for Apple Vision Pro, Apple’s highly anticipated spatial computing platform.

Apple Vision Pro is a spatial computer that blends digital content and apps into your physical space, and lets you navigate using your eyes, hands, and voice.

PME says Apple Vision Pro enables the Visage Ease VP to use the natural and intuitive input of eyes, hands, and voice navigation to provide a user imaging experience that’s unlike any other application.

Property services and construction company, Johns Lyng Group (ASX:JLG), rose after announcing that it has entered into a partnership with Allstate – one of the largest insurance companies in the US – to join its Emergency Response and Mitigation Panel.

The contract will give Johns Lyng USA access to a potential 16 million Allstate policy holders throughout the US, and covers the provision of emergency response makesafe and water mitigation.

JLG said the deal represents a significant achievement for JLG and its US growth strategy.



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Red 5 (ASX:RED) and Silver Lake (ASX:SLR) shares have both fallen into the red, as the companies announced a ‘merger of equals’ that will combine two of Australia’s most notable mid-tier gold miners.

The deal will see Silver Lake boss Luke Tonkin take the MD reins with Red 5’s Russell Clark of a combined company producing 445,000oz a year.

That would put it in the same class from a production perspective as Regis Resources (ASX:RRL), with Silver Lake shareholders to get 3.434 RED shares for every SLR share they hold.

Read more here: Here’s that M&A you were all waiting for as Red 5 and Silver Lake ink deal

Fletcher Building (ASX:FBU) dropped after announcing an update on the NZ International Convention Centre (NZICC) and Hobson Street Hotel project, as well as the Wellington International Airport Carpark project.

The NZICC project remains on track for completion in late calendar 2024.

Despite this progress, actual and expected costs to complete the project have increased, principally in the areas of steel remediation, internal fit-out, and installation of operating systems.

On the WIAL Carpark project, the company continues to work with the client to agree a remediation solution to settle claims.

Based on its latest assessment of the cost of the remediation, the company has determined that it will make a provision on WIAL Carpark of $15 million, classified as a Significant Item in its half year 2024 financial statement.