• The ASX fell 0.1% on Monday after opening higher this morning
  • Mining shares were the main laggards today
  • BNPL stocks under pressure after new regulation proposal


Local shares closed lower by 0.1% on Monday despite opening 0.30% higher this morning.

Mining shares dragged the bourse down, offset by gains in Utilities stocks.

Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) led the mining selloff after falling more than 4% on no specific news. Chinese steel demand has lifted in recent weeks, driving the iron ore price back over US$100 a tonne.

Lithium mining stocks meanwhile rallied today, with Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) rising by more than 4%.

Liontown released its ESG report this morning, emphasising its focus on safety, decarbonisation, and governance.

“We are making a significant upfront capital investment via our energy partner Zenith Energy to ensure that at least 60% of our start-up energy requirements will come from renewable energy sources,” the Liontown’s report said.

Perpetual (ASX:PPT) fell 2% after its star stock picker and Head of Equities, Paul Skamvougeras, resigned. The company has replaced him with his Deputy, Vince Pezzullo.

BNPL stocks meanwhile were under the microscope this morning as the Treasury Department released a discussion paper that’s expected to tighten the regulatory screws on the sector.

Under proposals being discussed, BNPL providers might be asked to obtain a credit licence and meet responsible lending obligations, which includes a new “affordability test” for new customers.

Sector leader Block Inc (ASZ:SQ2), which owns Afterpay, slipped 4% after the report release.

Elsewhere, shares in Asia mostly fell on Monday after China’s central bank (the POBC) kept its benchmark cash rate (or the loan prime rates) on hold, which was in line with predictions.

The POBC has left its rates unchanged for the third month in a row now.

In other markets, cryptocurrencies struggled on Monday as the FTX fallout remains the focus for traders.

In the last hour, both BTC and ETH were down around 2% to US$16,015 and US$1,121 respectively.



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Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) rose 4% after it conducted an on-market buyback today as part of its buyback program that could be as high as $2bn over the next year.



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Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) plunged 12% today after a couple of broker downgrades. Cannacord has cut its price target to $4.86 (currently $4.01), while Goldman has a target of $3.50.