ASX set to open lower; Wall Street rises

Shares in Mineral Resources surged after The Australian Financial Review reported it was considering listing its lithium business.

BHP, Pilbara and Fortescue all had a strong day as mining stocks lifted the market, finishing 3 per cent and compensating for a mixed performance from other sectors.

Director of Lowell fund manager Richard Morrow said it had been a “positive day to a pretty ordinary week” for mineral stocks as a rising US dollar impacts on commodity prices.

It was also a good day for gold stocks. Newcrest Mining gained 3.8 per cent, while Western Australian gold explorer De Grey had a 12 per cent bump in what was perhaps a delayed reaction to a feasibility study released on Thursday which showed the project could become one of the five biggest gold producers in the country.

“It’s probably one of the best undeveloped gold projects in the world,” Morrow said.

Elsewhere, software company Nuix climbed as high as 26 per cent before the company’s stocks were placed under a trading halt midway through the morning session. Documents lodged with the ASX after the close of trade on Thursday showed the super fund run by its chief executive Jonathan Rubinsztein purchased a further 350,000 shares this week, prompting speculation about potential buyout interest in the company.

The local bourse observed a minute’s silence at 11am AEST for Queen Elizabeth II after the monarch’s death in Scotland overnight.

On Thursday, the ASX jumped by 1.8 per cent as Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe signalled interest rate rises would be smaller in coming months.

Senior investment adviser at Shaw and Partners Craig Sidney said investors would be watching consumer inflation expectation numbers coming out of the US on Monday for any clues that inflation might be cooling.

“If that [inflation number] has got a seven handle on it, that might take a bit of pressure off interest rates,” he said. “Certainly if inflation starts to ease, you might see some pressure come out of the [US] dollar.”

Stocks on Wall Street bounced back from a midday stumble and closed higher Thursday, keeping the major indexes on track for their first weekly gain in four weeks.

Tweet of the day:

Quote of the day: “We sincerely apologise to our customers, who’ve been so patient as we get back to the service standards people rightly expect from us.” Qantas chairman Richard Goyder said after the airline revealed in its annual report Alan Joyce received $2.2 million in salary and a lucrative share entitlement last year.

You may have missed: Tesla is considering setting up a lithium refinery on the gulf coast of Texas, as it looks to secure supply of the key component used in batteries amid surging demand for electric vehicles. Construction could begin in the fourth quarter of 2022 if regulatory permits are approved, and the company plans to reach full commercial production at the site by the end of 2024.

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