• ASX rallied almost 1pc on Monday
  • Rates sensitive stocks including Tech and Real Estate led the rally
  • Gold hits all-time high, as Bitcoin surges above US$40k

 

The ASX 200 rallied on Monday, up 0.80% and tracking gains in New York.

On Friday, US stocks closed higher as traders bet against the possibility of another US Fed rate hike, despite Chair Jerome Powell reiterating that it was too soon to speculate on interest rates cuts.

“It would be premature to conclude with confidence that we have achieved a sufficiently restrictive stance, or to speculate on when policy might ease,” Powell said Friday in Atlanta. “We are prepared to tighten policy further if it becomes appropriate to do so.”

On the ASX, rates sensitive sectors like Tech and Real Estate led the rally today, while Energy and Utilities sectors lagged.

Gold mining stocks took lots of bids after gold prices surged more than 3% today, trading now at an all-time high of US$2,086.12.

Read more: Stairway to US$2100: All that glitters really is gold

Energy stocks were mainly in the red after crude prices slumped by over 3%. Brent crude is now trading at US$79.19 a barrel.

 

Bitcoin above US$40k

Meanwhile, Bitcoin has hit US$40k for the first time since May 2022, trading now at US$40,780.

The crypto market has been benefitting from market conviction that the Fed will begin to cut rates next year.

On Friday, however, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stated that deciding on the approval of instant Bitcoin exchange-traded funds will take more time, as the regulator seeks a unified opinion before issuing its decision.

“This has raised hopes for approvals of traded instant Bitcoin funds,” said Rania Gule, a market analyst at XS.com.

“From my perspective, another incentive supporting the bullish hypothesis for Bitcoin’s price is the increase in reserves for stablecoins.

“Approximately $15.23 billion of Tether is held in the top 10 USDT exchange wallets, indicating purchasing power and anticipated demand for Bitcoin,” Gule said.

“I also anticipate the possibility of Bitcoin Spot ETFs receiving a single batch approval in January 2024,” he added.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Casino stock Star Entertainment (ASX:SGR) was the best-performing large cap today, up by 7% on no specific news.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Coal stock Stanmore Resources (ASX:SMR) lost 9% after major shareholder Golden Investments cut its stake in the company by 5% to 59.01%.

Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) was down 3% before putting its shares in a trading halt pending an announcement. The company held a Scheme Meeting with shareholders today to to vote on the proposed acquisition of Origin by the Brookfield-led consortium of investors and EIG.

Nickel Industries (ASX:NIC) was down half percent after the company presented at COP28 and reiterated its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Strike Energy (ASX:STX) fell despite reporting a successful appraisal at SE3 which confirmed the continuity of the South Erregulla gas field to the Northwest. Logging and petrophysical analysis across the primary reservoir indicates conventional net gas pay of 13 metres, porosities up to 16.4%, and reservoir pressures of approximately 6,746 psia.

Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) fell after announcing that the sale of its ammonia manufacturing facility located in Waggaman, Louisiana, USA to CF Industries Holdings, was successfully completed on Friday, December 1. Proceeds were received on the same day.