• The ASX rose 0.20% on Wednesday
  • Aussie headline CPI at highest level since 2001
  • Fed rates decision later tonight

 

The ASX 200 finished 0.2% higher on Wednesday as traders digested the latest Aussie CPI data, and await the outcome of the US FOMC meeting later tonight.

The June quarter headline CPI came in at 6.1%, the highest since 2000 but softer than market expectations of 6.2%~6.3%.

This follows the 5.1% reported in the March quarter – as food, petrol, housing and health costs increased significantly.

Core inflation (excluding food and energy from the basket) jumped 4.9% in the past year, the highest since 1991.

The low unemployment rate of 3.5% has also been exerting pressure on wages, and all eyes are now on August 2nd when the RBA board will decide the next round of rate hikes.

Consensus is for another 50bp hike, but that will depend on what happens later tonight when the Fed meet to decide on the US rate.

While market consensus points to a 75bp hike by the Fed, some hawkish analysts have predicted a 100bp hike.

“Markets have baked another 75 basis points into their loaves of bread, but it’s going to be all about what the Fed and Jerome Powell say and not what they do,” says Oanda analyst, Jeff Halley.

“The IMF downgraded world growth forecasts last night, and there are plenty of recessionary signs around the world.”

On the ASX today, it was a mixed bag with six sectors in the red, and five in the green. Healthcare and Financials gained, offset by losses in Mining and Energy.

This follows a selloff in commodities overnight as oil prices fell by 1% while iron ore also dropped 6% to US112.50 a tonne.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Westpac (ASX:WBC) was up 2% after announcing some operational updates including its climate commitments. Amongst other commitments, the bank says It plans to transition to 100% renewables by 2025, reduce Scope 3 emissions, and support employee emission reductions.

Capricorn Metals (ASX:CMM) was up 9% after the company posted its quarterlies. CMM reported record quarterly gold production of 32,018 ounces for the June quarter, and annual gold production of 118,432 ounces, which is at the top end of its FY22 guidance.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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BNPL stocks like Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) also saw a sell-off today.