• The ASX rallied on Tuesday
  • Lithium stocks led again, extending yesterday’s gains
  • The Fed will convene for the first of its two-day meeting later tonight

Local shares surged 1.30% on Tuesday on the back of Mining and Energy sectors.

Lithium stocks were once again the top performers today as prices for the key EV battery material have started to rise again.

Lithium carbonate jumped to a new record on Friday of 500,500 yuan ($71,315) a ton in China, according to data from Asian Metal Inc, one of the main price reporting agencies.

Lithium stocks like Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and IGO Ltd (ASX:IGO) closed 5% higher today.

The RBA has released the minutes of its September 6th meeting, which revealed that board members considered buying back bonds again in the future, but only in “extreme circumstances.”

“In light of the experience, members judged it appropriate to consider use of a BPP (bond purchase program) again only in extreme circumstances, when the usual monetary policy tool – the cash rate target – has been employed to the full extent possible,” said the minutes.

Over in the US, the FOMC will convene for the first day of its two-day meeting later tonight.

ClearBridge Investment Strategist Jeffrey Schulze notes it’s becoming quite clear the US economy is facing its toughest hurdle: red hot inflation.

Schulze believes there is a risk the US economy might fall into a recession as a result of Fed policy.

“Taking a step back, our longer-term views remain intact that risk of a policy-induced recession are elevated,” he said.

“With elevated inflation having persisted for some time, the Fed will need to see several months of inflation heading in the right direction before they can back off.”

Asian markets meanwhile were higher as Japan’s core inflation increased 2.8% from a year ago, the fastest rate of increase in 8 years.

China meanwhile left its prime loan rate unchanged, in line with market expectations.

US stock markets were volatile overnight ahead of the Fed decision, and looking ahead tonight, important data scheduled to be released include August housing starts and building permits.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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New Hope (ASX:NHC) jumped 9% after declaring a 143% revenue lift for the full year to $2.55 billion.

The coal miner’s bottom line NPAT increased by 1,146% to $983 million, and the company declared a fully franked 31 cents per share final dividend and a 25 cents per share special dividend.

IDP Education (ASX:IEL) rose 2% after announcing its intention to acquire 100% of Intake Education for up to ~$83 million.

Intake is a leading student placement agency that has operations across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, India and the UK.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Contact Energy (ASX:CEN) dropped 2% after reporting softer sales in both the retail and wholesales electricity segment.