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Wall Street ended mixed again on Tuesday as investors try to shrug off recession concerns ahead of the release of key inflation data out later this week. The Dow Jones rose 0.3%, the S&P500 finished muted and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.4% on Tuesday. Investors are anticipating the release of the March readings for consumer price index out Wednesday and producer price index out Thursday to gain an insight into how the Fed might proceed on its current rate-hike journey. Moderna shares fell more than 3% overnight after the biotech firm said it delaying its flu vaccine after the experimental vaccine did not meet the criteria for ‘early success’ in a late-stage trial.
In Europe, markets closed higher following the return to trade after the Easter long weekend with the mining giants leading the gains across the board. Germany’s DAX rose 0.4% on Tuesday, while the French CAC added 0.9% and, in the UK, the FTSE100 added 0.6%.
The local market closed 1.26% higher on the first trading session of the shortened week, led by a surge in materials and consumer discretionary stocks. The materials sector was boosted by strengthening commodity prices and demand outlook from China, while consumer discretionary stocks were possibly driven higher by consumer confidence lifting. Westpac consumer confidence rebounded 9.4% in April, to the highest level since June 2022, following the RBA announcing a pause in interest rate hikes last week. The largest gains in consumer confidence were for the outlook in property prices. NAB business confidence for March also improved in data out yesterday, with the reading coming in at minus 1 from minus 4 in February, but business conditions slightly dropped from 17 to 16 for the month, indicating business confidence has stabilised but remains below the average at -1 index point. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) shares jumped over 5% on Tuesday after the Aussie gold miner announced it had received an upgraded takeover offer from US gold mining giant Newmont valuing the company at almost $30 billion, implying a share price of $32.87/share, or a 22% premium to NCM’s previous closing price. After assessing the revised proposal, Newcrest has agreed to grant Newmont the opportunity to conduct confirmatory due diligence to enable it to put forward a binding proposal. Evergreen Lithium debuted on the ASX yesterday, jumping 20% during its debut session in another sign the lithium era is far from over. The lithium explorer aims to mirror the success of neighbours Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) and Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), through its flagship Bynoe, Fortune Lithium and Kenny Projects.
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