Local markets were somewhat directionless today as Wall Street took time out for the Martin Luther King Jr holiday overnight.

The ASX 200 failed to maintain early momentum, finishing the day in the red down by 0.11%.

The Mining index was higher by around 0.5%, despite a weak fourth quarter from the world’s biggest iron ore exporter Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO).

Rio suffered production falls across every division, but says it expects to deliver growth across every commodity in 2022 with its Pilbara iron ore empire to ship 320-335Mt this calendar year. The Rio stock price was up by 0.3% after the announcement.

Lithium stocks extended their rally and lit up the mining sector on the back of the continuing rise in lithium prices this year.

Meanwhile, the Healthcare index was the worst performer today, down by 1%.

And there was a mild surprise in China too, where the PBoC’s first interest rate cut on medium-term loans since April 2020 was bigger than expected.

President Xi Jinping called for Western nations to not raise interest rates.

Xi reckons if major economies “take a U-turn in monetary policies, there will be serious spillovers that will present challenges to global economic and financial stability”.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
BRN Brainchip Ltd 1.84 24.3% 78,243,351 $2,537,070,973
CXL Calix Limited 7.00 8.7% 762,491 $1,038,875,858
IMU Imugene Limited 0.38 7.0% 27,172,648 $2,060,411,426
JBH JB Hi-Fi Limited 49.85 6.9% 989,910 $5,358,160,470
ERA Energy Resources 0.40 6.8% 265,438 $1,365,811,783
DDR Dicker Data Limited 14.1 6.5% 133,223 $2,288,992,951
LTR Liontown Resources 1.765 6.3% 13,226,681 $3,626,113,387
IMD Imdex Limited 3.11 6.1% 1,770,443 $1,161,605,532
NVX Novonix Limited 10.16 5.5% 5,697,219 $4,659,531,479
PDN Paladin Energy Ltd 0.89 5.3% 13,304,995 $2,263,619,776
CXO Core Lithium 0.925 5.1% 32,467,364 $1,473,548,400
CTT Cettire 3.4 4.9% 353,993 $1,235,211,833
NCK Nick Scali Limited 15.14 4.9% 256,827 $1,168,830,000
ZIM Zimplats Holding Ltd 24.88 4.5% 8,803 $2,561,776,046
ABR American Pacific 2.93 3.9% 859,161 $1,173,642,439

Brainchip (ASX:BRN) was up by another 25% today, taking its rally by more than 150% in the past month. Strangely, there has not been any significant news release to justfy the move in the stock price.

On the 11th January, the company got a speeding ticket from the ASX enquiring about its recent prices moves. The company pointed to a 10 January press release which reported that an “Early Access Program” customer, Information Systems Laboratories, is using BrainChip technology in an artificial Intelligence-based radar research project for the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Home entertainment retailer JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) reported a 1.6% fall in sales to $4.86 billion for the first half of FY22, compared to the previous corresponding period (pcp). EBIT was also down 9.1% on the prior year to $420.5 million. However, the company noted that over a two-year period, sales rose by 23%, and EBIT by 60%.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
AVZ AVZ Minerals Ltd 0.8 -7.5% 43,064,873 $2,986,034,564
VUK Virgin Money Uk PLC 3.55 -3.5% 1,544,742 $3,206,481,487
PBH Pointsbet Holdings 6.08 -3.5% 704,584 $1,660,674,519
PSI Psc Insurance Ltd 4.64 -3.3% 9,448 $1,572,649,882
AEF Australian Ethical 10.79 -3.0% 143,253 $1,249,744,975
Z1P Zip Co Ltd. 3.68 -2.9% 4,196,305 $2,231,684,210
GQG GQG Partners 1.805 -2.7% 248,867 $5,477,454,080
PTM Platinum Asset 2.56 -2.7% 2,258,822 $1,542,965,507
MPL Medibank Private Ltd 3.4 -2.6% 4,697,923 $9,611,471,308
HDN Homeco Daily Needs 1.385 -2.5% 1,593,076 $1,128,319,508
MFG Magellan Fin Grp Ltd 19.99 -2.4% 1,612,655 $3,803,402,322