The ASX 200 was down 0.45% today, with looming US interest-rate hikes still shadowing investor confidence.

Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank all expect the Fed to lift rates four times this year.

By sector, ASX 200 consumer staples stocks were hit the hardest, down 2.05%. Woolworths (ASX:WOW) and Coles (ASX:COL) dropped 2.05% and 2.17% respectively — not surprising, with nationwide supply shortages and Omicron impacting supermarket staff availability.


Materials – the big miners – were down 0.09%. BHP (ASX:BHP) was down 0.58%, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) rose up slightly at 0.12% and Fortsecue (ASX:FMG) clocked a gain of 2.03%.

The big banks took a hit, with the sector dropping 1.06% and the Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) down 1.66%.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS 

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Polynovo (ASX:PNV) was top of the large caps leader board, releasing its unaudited results for the half year ending 31 December – with US sales for December at a record US$2.43 million ($3.4 million) which is up 76% on the same time last year.

The company recorded US Q2 results of US$5.86 million (AU$8.06 million) – an increase of 105%.

Plus, monthly US sales for December exceeded US$2 million for the first time, and quarterly US sales exceeded US$5 million for the first time.

The company develops innovative medical devices utilizing the patented bioabsorbable polymer technology Novosorb.

Also among the leaders was Pointsbet (ASX:PBH). Its Canadian arm has teamed up with the National Hockey League Alumni Association (NHLAA) as their exclusive sports betting partner in Canada and official partner in the United States.

PointsBet Canada CCO Nic Sulsky said the NHL Alumni Association has always been in the company’s sights – and we all know hockey is kind of a big deal in Canada.

“Saturday night hockey is an institution from coast-to-coast-to-coast,” he said.

“Being able to partner with the likes of Paul Coffey, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mike Vernon, and the countless other NHL Alumni that skated across our screens will allow us to deliver the authentically Canadian gaming experience that we want to bring sports fans.”

 

BIG CAP LOSERS 

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Inghams Group (ASX:ING) fell today, after releasing an update detailing how the rapid spread of the Omicron variant across Eastern Australian States from December 2021 – and the resulting staff shortages – are now also having a significant impact on the Australian supply chain, operations, logistics and sales performance of the company.

CEO and MD Andrew Reeves said the changes to isolation rules for close contacts in the food sector should help alleviate some staff shortages and that the company expects “production capacity to recover relatively quickly to meet customer and consumer demand.”