• Local shares finished lower, weighed by uncertainties over the US debt ceiling
  • Energy and gold shares lifted, while mining stocks fell
  • RBNZ made a surprise announcement


The ASX 200 was down -0.7% on Tuesday, weighed down by Mining and Healthcare stocks.

Gold stocks, however, rallied as the yellow metal surged on concerns the debt ceiling negotiation may end up in a deadlock, forcing the US to default on its debt.

“Bottom line is that we’re going to have to see some movement or some fundamental change in what they’re doing,” said Republican negotiator Garret Graves.

“Right now, we don’t have additional meetings set up.”

Crude prices meanwhile extended gains in Asian hours today, pushing ASX energy stocks higher.

This comes as Saudi Arabia warned short sellers to “watch out”, suggesting that OPEC+ might soon reduce its output.

“I keep advising them that they will be ouching — they did ouch in April,” said the country’s top energy official at the Qatar Economic Forum.

The perceived threat was enough to send WTI climbing as much as 2.5% overnight, the most in nearly a week.

Oanda analyst Edward Moya said energy traders have quickly learned that when it comes to oil prices, you ‘don’t fight the Saudis’ as they will do whatever it takes to defend prices.

Moya said the Saudis are currently not comfortable with oil near the low-US$70s, and they will likely support further production cuts if it looks like oil prices could be heading back to the mid-$60s.


RBNZ said no more hikes

The RBNZ has raised its rates 25bp today, but unexpectedly signalled to the market it would be the last rate hike needed, and there would be cuts beginning in the third quarter of 2024.

The announcement was more dovish than markets had expected, sending the Kiwi dollar tumbling by over 1% against the majors.

The RBNZ has raised its rates by 25bp for the 12th consecutive time, a cycle which began in October 2021.

The country’s inflation rate has since dropped from 7.3% last June to 6.7%, but is still well above the 2% target rate.



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Webjet (ASX:WEB) was the best-performing large cap today, up almost 5% after announcing record bookings and TTV for FY23.

The company delivered FY23 underlying EBITDA $134.8 million; and underlying NPAT $69.9 million.

Group bookings, TTV, revenue and EBITDA for the second half were all ahead of pre pandemic levels, driven by WebBeds.



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Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) fell 5% after conducting its AGM this morning.