The ASX surged almost 1% on Tuesday , despite the RBA warning that it may raise rates again.

Local stocks tracked Wall Street’s gains overnight, where investors digested more messages from Fed members, this time from Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester, who said the market is a ‘bit ahead’ of the central bank on rate cuts.

“The next phase is not when to reduce rates, even though that’s where the markets are at,” Mester told the Financial Times in an interview as she tried to calm investor exuberance driving up stocks and bonds.

The RBA released the minutes of its December meeting today, which contained some hawkish language that ran counter to the rate cuts prediction the market has been anticipating.

“Members agreed that whether further tightening of monetary policy is required to ensure that inflation returns to target in a reasonable timeframe will depend on how the incoming data alter the economic outlook and the evolving assessment of risks,” the minutes said.

On the ASX, all 11 sectors were in the green today, led by Real Estate and Utilities.

Among the top winners were energy/utility stock Origin Energy (ASX:ORG), and lithium stock Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), which surged by 11% on no specific news.

Investors might be looking at LTR after fellow miner Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) received a $1.7bn takeover from joint bidders Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting and Chilean giant Sociedad Quimica y Minera (SQM) – see more below.

Across the region, Asian stock markets were mixed. The Nikkei index was up 1% on a softening Yen after the Bank of Japan once again kept its policy rate unchanged, and persisted with the world’s only negative-rate regime.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
LTR Liontown Resources 1.63 11.43 23,088,471 $3,548,207,666
NEU Neuren Pharmaceut. 23.85 7.41 996,681 $2,809,758,007
AD8 Audinate Group Ltd 16.18 4.72 135,361 $1,284,031,516
KAR Karoon Energy Ltd 2.03 4.11 3,748,167 $1,558,391,767
ELD Elders Limited 7.65 4.01 577,231 $1,150,102,819
CTT Cettire 2.89 3.96 1,015,821 $1,059,842,252
IEL Idp Education Ltd 20.50 3.64 1,282,866 $5,505,490,254
APM APM Human Services 1.19 3.48 2,247,716 $1,054,759,238
QBE QBE Insurance Group 14.58 3.33 4,893,190 $21,079,145,024
RMS Ramelius Resources 1.68 3.22 2,140,935 $1,852,949,736
AX1 Accent Group Ltd 2.02 3.06 1,477,191 $1,103,584,264
ORG Origin Energy 8.27 3.05 2,552,312 $13,816,436,321
GQG GQG Partners 1.66 2.95 826,153 $4,754,016,749
BPT Beach Energy Limited 1.60 2.89 3,916,509 $3,547,473,835
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Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) was up 3% after announcing it will invest £280 million (~$530 million ) in UK company Octopus Energy to increase its interest by 3% to 23%.

Origin says that Octopus has continued its rapid growth, including continued expansion of the global licensing of its proprietary Kraken platform.

To fund this purchase, Origin is participating in the funding round alongside other existing major investors in Octopus – Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Generation Investment Management.

Azure Minerals (ASX:ASZ) announced that it has entered into a new binding Transaction Implementation Deed with Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting under which the joints bidders will acquire 100% of the shares in Azure in cash at $3.70 per share.

The Azure Board has unanimously recommended the transaction in the absence of a superior proposal.

“The transaction delivers a fantastic outcome for Azure shareholders, including a significant uplift in value from the Original SQM transaction despite elevated market volatility and the recent deterioration in lithium prices,” said Azure’s CEO, Tony Rovira.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
TAH TABCORP Holdings Ltd 0.86 -5.25 13,059,054 $2,065,581,945
GNE Genesis Energy Ltd 2.27 -2.99 70,971 $2,514,658,258
PLS Pilbara Min Ltd 3.87 -2.52 15,529,334 $11,947,587,742
RDX Redox Limited 2.33 -2.51 257,309 $1,254,944,613
SKC Skycity Ent Grp Ltd 1.69 -2.31 342,258 $1,315,155,012
CCP Credit Corp Group 15.80 -2.11 220,421 $1,098,599,056
MFG Magellan Fin Grp Ltd 9.00 -2.07 596,186 $1,663,707,064
LOV Lovisa Holdings Ltd 23.34 -1.95 275,509 $2,610,684,808
LLC Lendlease Group 7.28 -1.89 2,151,386 $5,117,071,273
SGR The Star Ent Grp 0.52 -1.89 4,111,154 $1,520,400,865
QAN Qantas Airways 5.36 -1.83 7,941,703 $9,415,522,553
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