• Local shares finished slightly higher ahead of the FOMC meeting later tonight
  • Sam Bankman-Fried arrested in the Bahamas
  • CSL has a new CEO

 

Local shares dipped in the afternoon, finishing the day just 0.30% higher despite a strong start.

Overnight, Wall Street rose in broad-brushed rally as traders take positions ahead of the CPI data and the Fed’s interest rates call.

Members of the FOMC will convene for the first of their two-day meeting later tonight.

As it stands, the market is pricing in a 50-basis points rate hike, with an outside 1-in-5 chance that policymakers raise the Fed Funds rate by 75-basis points for the fifth consecutive meeting.

“Considering that inflationary pressures have moderated consistently in recent months, the former scenario seems almost a certainty,” said Vantage market analyst, Daniel Moss.

“Much attention will be paid to Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference following the decision to determine the Fed’s monetary policy trajectory in 2023,” he added.

Meanwhile, FTX’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried has reportedly been arrested in the Bahamas as US authorities filed a criminal indictment.

He’s currently in custody pending an extradition process to the US.

Back on home soil, Australian consumer confidence has improved slightly in December, according to a survey released by the Westpac and Melbourne Institute today.

The index rose 3% in December to 80.3, after plummeting 6.9% in November to 78.0.

Along with today’s survey, the market will also scrutinise the employment data on Thursday, which will determine if the RBA will continue down its less aggressive monetary policy path next year.

On the ASX, mining stocks lagged while tech stocks surged.

Major tech stocks Megaport (ASX:MP1) and Brainchip (ASX:BRN) pushed the Tech index higher.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) was the best performing large cap today, up 7%, following a trading update.

Bendigo said its unaudited cash earnings (after tax) year-to-date (YTD) was approximately $245m, up 22% on the pcp.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Giant CSL Ltd (ASX:CSL) has appointed Dr Paul McKenzie as CEO commencing from 6 March 2023.

Dr. McKenzie is the current COO, and will succeed Paul Perreault, who has advised the Board of his intention to retire after serving 10 years in the role, and more than 25 years with the company.

The CSL share price fell slightly on the news.

Casino operator Star Entertainment (ASX:SGR) fell 0.3% after confirming that corporate cop ASIC will commence civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against a number of current and former directors, as well as past executives, of  Star.

The proceedings concern “matters which were the subject of regulatory inquiries in New South Wales and Queensland.”

Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) dropped 8% following an update on its Julimar project scoping study.