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Closing Bell 18 January

Grady Wulff
January 18, 2023

The ASX had another lacklustre session today closing the day up just 0.1% as investors continued to sell off materials and utilities stocks, while piling into technology and healthcare stocks.

Allkem (ASX:AKE) shares dipped today after the lithium producer released a December quarter trading updating including record sales revenue of US$151m from the company’s flagship Olaroz operation despite softer sales units, and revenue of US$83 million from the Mt Cattlin operation. The company’s Naraha project also successfully achieved first production of lithium hydroxide and the product quality exceeded expectations. AKE shares were caught up in the lithium stock sell-off in recent days though as demand outlook for EVs has been dampened by Tesla’s price reductions and lithium price outlook reports. Ampol (ASX:ALD) shares rallied today after the petroleum company released fourth quarter results including the Lytton Refiner Margin remaining above historical levels averaging US$11.75 per barrel, while refinery production rose to 1580 ML, from 1546 ML in the third quarter including planned maintenance activities. Qantas (ASX:QAN) shares dipped in afternoon trade following the issue of a mayday call on QF144 from Auckland to Sydney just after 2pm today. The plane landed safely just after 3pm despite issuing the mayday call amid engine issues. Qantas shares rebounded in the last hour of trade after the plane landed safely to close the day up 0.76%.

The winning stocks from today’s session were, led by Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) jumping almost 9% despite no price sensitive news out of the company today, while Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) rose 8.6% and Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) jumped 4.57% today. The stocks that weighed on the market today included Hub24 (ASX:HUB) falling 4.8% a day after the company provided quarterly results, Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) losing 4.56% and Capricorn Metals (ASX:CMM) shedding 4.53%.

The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients today were St Barbara (ASX:SBM), Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) and Telstra (ASX:TLS).

On the economic calendar today, the Bank of Japan maintained the country’s short-term interest rate at -0.1% after 8-years of no change, despite recent signs indicating an increase in the rate may be imminent.

Taking a look at commodities, oil is trading almost 1% higher at US$80.79/barrel, gold is down almost half a percent at US$1899/ounce and iron ore is trading -0.82% lower at US$120.50/tonne.

The Aussie dollar is buying US$0.70, 91.86 Japanese Yen – boosted higher by the Bank of Japan not raising interest rates today, 56.9 British Pence and NZ$1.08.

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