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The story of the day was the RBA raising the official cash rate by a further 50 basis points for September, taking the rate from 1.85% to 2.35%, which was in line with market expectations. The RBA also said it is committed to continue raising the cash rate.
The market rallied in the first hour of trade before turning lower and closing the session down 0.4%. Investors sold out of financial stocks today in anticipation that the big banks will pass on the full interest rate hike to customers.
Lithium stocks performed well today after a number of broker upgrades including Macquarie reiterating its ‘outperform’ rating on Allkem (ASX:AKE), while Jefferies lifted its price targets on IGO (ASX:IGO), Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Allkem (ASX:AKE). The rally in lithium stocks was led by Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) surging almost 10%. Other winning stocks for today’s session were Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) which added 9.55%, Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN) which jumped 7.8%, and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) which closed the session up just over 7%.
In economic news, Australia’s current account balance was also released today. The nation’s current account surplus jumped to $18.3 billion in the second quarter which fell short of market expectations of $20.8 billion, but a major increase from a fall to $2.8 billion in the previous quarter. The increase in the current account for the second quarter was driven by higher commodity prices.
Tonight, the US will have its first trading session of the week with investors keeping a close eye on if the sell-off from last week will continue into the new trading week.
On the economic data front, US Global Services PMI is out tonight, in addition to ISM Non-Manufacturing business activity, PMI and Employment for the month of August with the market expecting a decline across each of these metrics from the month of July. Locally, investors will be awaiting GDP data out tomorrow for the second quarter to see if Australia’s economy continued to grow during the most recent period. The market is expecting growth of 1%, up 0.2% from the first quarter.