• The ASX closed flattish on Thursday
  • Coal stocks rebounded, while Mining and Tech stocks lagged
  • China’s President Xi called for more military innovation


Aussie shares closed flattish on Thursday as falls in Mining and Healthcare stocks were offset by gains in Tech and Energy.

The market lacked direction following Jerome Powell’s mixed messages at Capitol Hill last night. After saying there will be more rate hikes ahead on Tuesday, Powell told Congress on Wednesday that future rate hikes are yet to be decided.

“We have not made any decision about the March meeting,” he said.

Back home, the ABS today reported that total number of building permits issued in Australia tumbled by 27.6% in January. On a yearly basis, total permits had fallen by 8.4%.

To the ASX, coal stocks rebounded from yesterday’s slump, with the majors like Yancoal and Whitehaven rising by 5%.

Westpac (ASX:WBC) and National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) have just raised its variable interest rates home loan by 0.25%, becoming the first big banks to lift rates following Tuesday’s 25bp rate hike by the RBA.

Tech darling Xero (ASX:XRO) surged 9% after announcing a plan to cut 800 jobs, or 16% of its workforce.

Xero said the cost cutting program will result in total operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue for FY23 to fall towards the lower end of 80-85% forecast range.

The best performer today was department store Myer (ASX:MYR), which climbed 16% after releasing its half-year results.

The retailer reported 24% increase in on pcp to sales of $1.885 billion, for a bottom line NPAT of $65 million which was double the profit it made in the pcp.

There were a few large caps that traded ex-dividend today, which meant shares prices fell to adjust for the payments. This includes BHP, CSL, IEL, MIN, MND, RIO, RWC, S32 and VSL.

Elsewhere, China’s President Xi told comrades that more military innovation is needed as China’s military budget spending rises.

This came as China’s inflation rose by just 1%, lower than economists’ estimate of a 1.9% – according t0 data released today.

Japan meanwhile has an egg shortage as the worst-ever global outbreak of bird flu forced mass culling of chickens in the country.

According to Bloomberg, Japan confirmed its first case in October, beginning the earliest bird flu season the country has seen.



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BSP Financial (ASX:BFL) and Weebit Nano (ASX:WBT) each rose 10% on no specific news.

Carsales (ASX:CAR) continues its trading halt today while it conducts the institutional component of a $500m, $19.95-per-share fully underwritten entitlement offer.



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Helia Group (ASX:HLI) dropped 11% on no specific news.