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The local market followed in Wall Street’s footsteps, with the key index closing Thursday’s session 0.64% lower as 8 of the 11 sectors closed the day in the red. A sharp sell-off in materials stocks weighed on the market today following strong than expected unemployment data out in Australia and the US Fed’s raising America’s cash rate by 50-basis points. Consumer staples stocks outperformed the market today as investors shifted into sectors that perform well during a high interest rate, recessionary environment.
The winning stocks today were led by Blackmores (ASX:BKL) lifting almost 8% despite no price sensitive news out of the company today, while New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) added 4.66% and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) added 3.9% today. And on the losing end of the market today, Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) fell 11.43% after the lithium miner announced results of its 12th spodumene concentrate auction via its digital BMX platform with the company selling a combined total of 10,000dmt at an average price of $7552 per dmt. Investors also sold out of Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) and Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) today as the price of lithium came under pressure.
On the commodities front, crude oil is down 1.13% at US$76.39 per barrel, uranium is flat at US$48.35 per pound, gold is down almost 1% at US$1,791 per ounce and iron ore is trading 0.45% lower at US$110 per tonne.
The Aussie dollar is buying 68 US cents, 92.61 Japanese Yen, 55.22 British Pence, and NZ$1.06.
Economic data released today included Australia’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.4% for November which was above forecasts of a decline to 3.3% while the economy added 64,000 jobs for the month, in another sign the tight labour market remains resilient despite the best efforts of the RBA.