The ASX200 extended its gains on Wednesday, up 0.8% as the benchmark index climbed to 10-month highs.

Local traders tracked the rally on Wall Street overnight, where market sentiment has switched back to a bullish rate cut scenario.

It came as Richmond Fed president Thomas Barkin said the Fed would cut rates if inflation continues to decline, but only if there was evidence it was moving toward the Fed’s 2 per cent target.

The US dollar fell on his comments against major currencies including the Aussie dollar, which has now climbed to US67.58c.

Traders also digested the final November CPI reading for the Euro zone, which showed a -0.6% deflation for the month, bigger than the -0.5% deflation estimated.

On the ASX, all 11 sectors rallied today, led by interest rates-sensitive Consumer Discretionary. Mining, Financial and Energy sectors also lifted.

Most lithium stocks rose, as small-capped First Lithium (ASX:FL1) jumped 50% on the back of a big find at Tier 1 priority target Blakala, part of the Gouna project, including – in the first three holes – a 111m intersection at 1.57% Li2O.

Read more here: Thick, shallow AND high grade – First Lithium strikes in Mali

Across the region, Asian markets also advanced today.

The Nikkei 225 climbed almost 2% despite data showing Japan’s exports falling -0.2% from a year earlier.

Chinese banks meanwhile  held their benchmark lending rates today, a move that could further depress the country’s ailing property sector.



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Engineering company Monadelphous Group (ASX:MND) was up 1% after securing an extension to the company’s long-term maintenance and shutdown services agreement with Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS).

The company’s existing agreement with Woodside has been extended for a further three-year period, with with the additional option for the agreement to be extended for a further two years thereafter. The value of the extension is estimated at approximately $180 million per annum.



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Mortgage administrator PEXA Group (ASX:PXA) plunged 11% after reaffirming its earlier guidance forecast for FY24. The company expects group operating EBITDA margin of 35% or better for FY24, and break-even in operating EBITDA for its Digital Growth business by June 2024.

The company also announced the completion of its acquisition of Smoove, a UK software company focused on the housing market.

Neuren Pharma (ASX:NEU) was down -3% despite announcing that the last subject to be screened this week will complete the enrolment of subjects into its Phase 2 clinical trial of NNZ-2591 in Angelman syndrome (AS).

Top-line results from the trial are expected to be available in Q3 2024.

NNZ-2591 is a synthetic drug which is under development for the treatment of Rett syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Pitt Hopkins syndrome (genetic disorders), Prader-Willi syndrome, as well as Angelman Syndrome.

Commercial building products company Orica (ASX:ORI) dropped after announcing that it will acquire 100% of Terra Insights, a leading sensors, software and data delivery technology platform for the mining industry, for an enterprise value of CAD$505m.

Allkem (ASX:AKE) will now be renamed Arcadium Lithium CDIs (ASX: LTM) this Friday, after shareholders of both Allkem and Livent approved the merger between itself and Livent.