• ASX edges closer to all-time high ahead of Fed decision
  • Energy stocks climb after more tensions in the Middle East
  • Gold Core Resources plunges 17pc after disappointing quarterly production


The ASX 200 index rose again on Monday, up by +0.3% as it edged closer to an all time high.

This comes ahead of the Fed Reserve decision later this week, as well as continuing tension in the Middle East, which has pushed Brent crude past US$83.70c a barrel.

Energy stocks climbed on the back of higher crude prices, led by Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS) and Santos (ASX:STO).

Tensions were running high after militants reportedly killed two US soldiers and injured dozens more with drone strikes.

“While we are still investigating the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” said President Biden, who also vowed retaliation.

Tech stocks meanwhile were the worst performers today, as investors seemed to have abandoned their bets on interest rate cuts in March, and have instead continued to fully price in a Fed move in May. The next Fed Reserve meeting will be held on Jan 30-31.

Meanwhile, Treasurer Jim Chalmers has announced that former Labor cabinet minister, Greg Combet, will be appointed to chair the Future Fund’s board for the next five years, after incumbent Peter Costello said he won’t be pursuing a third term.

Across the region, Asian stock markets mainly advanced after China announced more measures to prop up the country’s equity market and property markets.

This comes after Chinese giant property group Evergrande was ordered to liquidate by a Hong Kong court today, after it was unable to reach a deal with creditors to restructure debts worth around $500 billion.

“The hearing has lasted for one and a half years, and the company still has not been able to bring forward a concrete restructuring proposal,” said Justice Linda Chan.



Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.

Wordpress Table Plugin

Vehicles parts company Bapcor (ASX:BAP) jumped 8% today despite saying that it was expecting a 13% – 15% year-on-year drop in its interim NPAT.

Bapcor expects H1 FY24 revenue of approximately $1.02n, growing 2% year on year, and a H1 Pro-Forma NPAT of between $53m and $54m, down significantly from the $62m achieved in H1 FY23.

Bapcor, however, said it remains positive on the longer-term outlook in the automotive aftermarket, and particularly the continued growth in the Trade and Wholesale businesses.



Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.

Wordpress Table Plugin

Woolworths (ASX:WOW) dropped -0.3% after announcing significant writedowns to be recognised in its F24 half-year results.

The retailer told investors that it wrote down $1.7 billion, mostly related to the company’s struggling NZ supermarkets business.

Meanwhile, Woolworths Group’s unaudited EBIT before significant items for H1 F24 is expected to be $1.682 billion, versus $1.637 billion in the pcp.

BHP (ASX:BHP) fell -1.5% after claiming that it never got the message from the Court in Brazil that it had to pay $14 billion to the Brazilian government relating to a tailings dam burst in 2015 now known as the Mariana Dam disaster.

“BHP Brasil has not been served with a decision by the Court, and will review the decision to assess its implications, the potential for an appeal and any potential impact to the Group’s provision related to the Samarco dam failure,” BHP said in its release.

Suncorp (ASX:SUN) fell modestly after saying that over 500 claims have been received from customers impacted by Cyclone Kirrily; almost all were home claims.

FY24 underlying margins meanwhile are expected to be in line with previous guidance of around the midpoint of the 10-12% range,

Suncorp also reported an unexpected jump in the cost of settling older car and home insurance claims.

Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) was the worst performing large cap today, down -17% after saying that its December quarter production was lower Q-on-Q due to delays accessing higher grade ore from the open pit.

GOR says its 2024 annual production is guided at between 300,000 and 335,000 ounces (150,000 to 167,500 ounces attributable) at an attributable AISC of between $1,900 and $2,050 per ounce.

This compares with 2023 annual production of 321,984 ounces, which was at the lower end of annual guidance of between 320,000 – 350,000 ounces.