The ASX 200 has fallen below the 7,000 level for the first time since May 2021, after slumping by 2.68% ahead of the Australia Day break tomorrow.

Local investors were in selling mood as sentiment towards holding risky assets has turned negative in the past week.

Overnight, volatility was the underlying theme as US stocks swung from early losses to finish the day in positive territory.

The CBOE VIX index, a gauge of market volatility, surged to 29.82, its highest in one year ahead of the two-day US Fed meeting starting today (US time).

The meeting is expected to give clarity over how fast and how big the rate hike will be this year, the two unknowns that have caused investor jitters over the past week.

Back home, the ABS has just released the latest CPI data, which shows that Australia’s inflation rate jumped 1.3% in the last three months of 2021 to be 3.5% steeper over the year.

Price increases in new dwellings and a surge in fuel prices contributed to the high CPI read.

All eyes are now turned towards the RBA’s first meeting of the year, to be held on 1st February.

All eleven ASX sectors fell today, with Energy, down 4%, leading the rout. Other sectors like Financials, Mining, and Tech also slipped well over 2%.

A flashpint in eastern Europe between Russia and Ukaraine could also provide a near-term trigger point for oil prices, which has hit a 7-year high and nears the US$100 level.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
CDA Codan Limited 9.78 16.8% 2,647,734 $1,513,998,536
A2M The A2 Milk Company 5.45 7.1% 11,161,077 $3,785,211,728
LFG Liberty Fin Group 5.5 4.8% 12,132 $1,593,900,000
HGH Heartland Group 2.3 4.5% 1,079 $1,297,635,858
VSL Vulcan Steel 9.29 3.2% 33,088 $1,182,677,148
360 Life360 Inc. 7.62 3.1% 1,588,667 $1,352,969,920
CEN Contact Energy Ltd 7.3 2.8% 23,760 $1,747,932,578
SDR Siteminder 5.9 1.9% 302,987 $1,573,506,375
SNZ Summerset Grp Hldgs 11.51 1.4% 536 $2,612,944,404
APE Eagers Automotive 12.33 1.1% 695,044 $3,132,014,562
GOLD ETFS GOLD 240.53 0.9% 47,420 $1,346,310,631
AIA Auckland Internation 6.83 0.7% 1,748,520 $9,983,896,709
SGP Stockland 4.07 0.5% 12,172,373 $9,668,045,231

Electronics manufacturer Codan Ltd (ASX:CDA) was up 15% after it provided the market with a trading update for the first half.

Codan’s unaudited sales for H1 of FY22 were $257 million, an increase of 32% over the prior corresponding period (pcp). The company says its H1 net profit after tax (NPAT) is expected to be around $50 million, an increase of 21%.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
WAF West African Res Ltd 1.06 -16.9% 17,974,424 $1,301,486,652
BRN Brainchip Ltd 1.43 -13.6% 60,440,092 $2,837,269,348
LTR Liontown Resources 1.36 -9.9% 28,051,872 $3,298,452,539
CHN Chalice Mining Ltd 7.2 -9.8% 3,900,714 $2,833,087,323
AVZ AVZ Minerals Ltd 0.66 -9.6% 52,884,653 $2,520,006,048
CXO Core Lithium 0.73 -8.8% 44,406,203 $1,339,589,454
ABR American Pacific 2.2 -8.7% 1,880,049 $1,006,621,481
PBH Pointsbet Holdings 5.21 -8.3% 3,224,477 $1,497,243,058
JRV Jervois Global Ltd 0.62 -8.1% 8,297,668 $1,024,856,457
SLR Silver Lake Resource 1.675 -8.0% 7,903,837 $1,611,546,655
TLX Telix Pharmaceutical 6.62 -7.9% 2,612,577 $2,049,674,209
INR Ioneer Ltd 0.645 -7.9% 12,945,136 $1,435,383,879
BPT Beach Energy Limited 1.305 -7.8% 17,655,938 $3,228,087,123
AKE Allkem Limited 9.16 -7.7% 6,853,302 $6,324,253,813

West African Resources (ASX:WAF) saw 17% wiped off its share price after a military coup in the West African nation of Burkina Faso overnight.

It said in a statement to the ASX there was no impact to its operations at this point. Burkina Faso is Africa’s fourth largest gold producing nation.

Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) was down 7% after reporting a slide in production. BPT’s production for the quarter was down 7% compared to the last to 5.31 millions of barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe).

After more than doubling in the past month, microchips tech maker Brainchips (ASX:BRN) lost another 15% today on no news.