ASX 200 clings to 7,900, market sentiment improves on expectation of RBA’s rate cuts

  • ASX 200 Index extends its gains on expectations of RBA reducing interest rates in the second half of 2024.
  • Australia’s Consumer Inflation Expectations decreased to 4.3% in March, against the previous 4.5%.
  • Allup Silica has extended its application potential by achieving high-purity results from its Sparkler project.

The ASX 200 Index rises to nearly 7,900, up by 0.26% on Thursday, extending gains to new record highs. Positive market sentiment is bolstered by subdued Consumer Inflation Expectations and Retail Sales figures from Australia, which raise expectations of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) adopting a more accommodative approach to interest rates. Furthermore, Wednesday’s release of the Australian Monthly Consumer Price Index, which was lower than anticipated, lent further support to the Australian stock market.

Australia’s consumer expectations of future inflation during the next 12 months stood at 4.3% in March, against the previous increase of 4.5%. The seasonally adjusted Retail Sales increased by 0.3% month-over-month in February, against the expected 0.4% and 1.1% prior.

The ASX 200 Index surged, driven by strong performances in mining stocks, buoyed by rising prices of gold, iron ore, and lithium. Among the top gainers were Arcadium Lithium, which soared by 10.20% to 4.43; Alumina, which saw a rise of 5.60% to 1.42; and Whitehaven Coal, which increased by 5.27% to 7.10. On the other side, Xero experienced a decline of 1.09% to 132.43; Audinate Group fell by 0.75% to 21.24; and Tabcorp Holdings dipped by 1.05% to 0.76.

Allup Silica has expanded its potential applications with promising results from its Sparkler project in southern Western Australia, where bulk sample tests of high-purity silica have surpassed industry standards. This positions the product well for various high-purity applications, including photovoltaics and high-tech manufacturing.

Terra Uranium is enhancing its Canadian exploration and development endeavors by finalizing a binding letter of intent to acquire the Amer Lake uranium deposit in Nunavut. This move follows Terra’s recent acquisition of two new 100%-owned projects in Canada’s Athabasca Basin.

AIC Mines, a copper producer, has reported a significant 86% increase in ore reserves at its Jericho copper deposit, located south of its Eloise high-grade underground copper mine in Queensland. The revised reserve estimate now stands at 3.2 million tonnes grading 1.9% copper and 0.4 grams per tonne of gold, amounting to 61,100 tonnes of copper and 37,000 ounces of gold.

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