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Closing Bell 23 January

Grady Wulff
January 23, 2023

The ASX seesawed throughout the first trading session of the week before closing just 0.07% higher as strong gains in the tech and energy sectors offset losses in the utilities sector.

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) dominated the market gains again after releasing a production update last week including production and revenue coming in ahead of analysts’ expectations, which also prompted Morgans to reiterate their add rating on PLS with an improved price target of $5.40, announced today.

Australian based, international oil and gas exploration and production company Karoon Energy also soared over 7% today after announcing an updated assessment of reserves and resources at its 100% owned Santos Basin concession, BM-S-40 in Brazil, where the revised assessment has found better-than-expected performance at the existing wells. Proved and Probable reserves also increased 23% compared to 30 June 2022.

Food price inflation at Australia’s two largest supermarkets rose to an average of 9.2% across the December quarter, from an average of 8.2% in the September quarter according to UBS. The fresh food category had the steepest food inflation, led by the dairy and meat sector.

The winning stocks from today’s session were led by Karoon Energy (ASX:KAR) rallying over 7.41%, Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) recovering from last week’s sell-off to climb 6.91% and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) lifted 6.15%.

And on the losing end, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH) fell 2.84%, Adbri (ASX:ABC) lost 2.72% and Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) shed 2.52% to start the week.

The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients were Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS), Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) and Allkem (ASX:AKE).

On the economic calendar front today, the Bank of Japan’s meeting minutes were released giving insight into the policy meeting that resulted in the surprise no change to the country’s easy monetary policy.

On the commodities front today, oil has dipped 0.4% to US$81.32/barrel due to the Lunar New Year holiday in Asia but outlook is still favourable for strong demand in 2023 as China, the world’s largest importer of oil, reopens. Coal is down 3.45% at US$350.95/ton, gold is up slightly at US$1927/ounce, and iron ore is flat at US$124.50/tonne.

The Aussie dollar is buying 70 US cents, 90.57 Japanese Yen, 56 British Pence, and 1 New Zealand dollar and 8 cents.

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