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Miners lead Aussie market higher

It was a bounce-back session from the miners on the ASX on Tuesday, which helped the market gauges elevate slightly. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) index added 12.8 points, or 0.2%, to 6,856, while the broader All Ordinaries (INDEXASX: XAO) index gained 15.6 points, or 0.2%, to 7,045.

The heavyweight mining sector was the biggest influence, rising 0.9% as BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) added 23 cents, or 0.5%, to $43.59; Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG) lifted 54 cents, or 2.6%, to $21.35; and Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO) appreciated $1.75, or 1.6%, to $113.60.

Rare earths producer Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC) was the star, gaining 75 cents, or 12.4%, to $6.82, after its operating licence for its Malaysian processing plant was extended through to March 2026. Lithium miner Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) rose 21 cents, or 5.9%, to $3.79, but fellow producer Allkem Ltd (ASX: AKE) slipped 18 cents, or 1.7%, to $10.18. IGO Ltd (ASX: IGO), which mines nickel as well as lithium, advanced 29 cents, or 2.7%, to $10.87; and Mineral Resources Ltd (ASX: MIN), which produces iron ore and lithium, put on 99 cents, or 1.8%, to $57.43.

Lynas Rare Earths share price

There was some solid work from the goldminers, led by Perseus Mining Ltd (ASX: PRU), which surged 8.5 cents, or 5.1%, to $1.76, after reporting stellar first-quarter gold production, and reaffirming its production and cost guidance for 2024. Also in gold, Ramelius Resources Ltd (ASX: RMS) improved 4.5 cents, or 2.6%, to $1.775; Capricorn Metals Ltd (ASX: CMM) gained 11 cents, or 2.4%, to $4.80; and Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) added 6 cents, or 1.7%, to $3.69.

In coal, Coronado Global Resources Inc (ASX: CRN) advanced 4 cents, or 2.5%, to $1.65; New Hope Corporation Ltd (ASX: NHC) closed 12 cents, or 2%, higher at $6.04; Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) rose 9 cents, or 1.2%, to $7.59; and Stanmore Resources Ltd (ASX: SMR) gained 9 cents, or 2.5%, to $3.72.

Copper miner Sandfire Resources Ltd (ASX: SFR) was up 12 cents, or 2.1%, to $5.89.

Of the energy heavyweights, Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) slipped 3 cents to $35.16, while Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) advanced 5 cents, or 0.6%, to $7.85.

Electric vehicles drive McMillan Shakespeare

On the industrial screens, salary packaging company McMillan Shakespeare Ltd (ASX: MMS) rose $1.35, or 9%, to $16.42 after announcing that strong demand for novated leases for electric vehicles had resulted in higher-than-expected first-quarter earnings.

McMillan Shakespeare share price

It was a mixed day for the big banks, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) rising 25 cents, or 0.3%, to $98.07; Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) adding 4 cents, or 0.2%, to $20.88; National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) unchanged on the day, at $28.56; and ANZ Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: ANZ) easing 4 cents, or 0.2%, to $25.18.

Buy-now, pay-later Zip Co Ltd (ASX: ZIP) spiked 2 cents, or 6.7% to 32 cents after reporting that it was cash-earnings-positive in the first quarter, and that it expects to repeat the feat for the financial year.

Biotech heavyweight CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) added 45 cents, or 0.2%, to $237.25, while Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS) was flat at $3.79.

Earnings boost US gauges

In the US, selectively buoyant company earnings lifted stocks, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX: .DJI) gaining 204.97 points, or 0.6%, to close at 33,141.38, while the broader S&P 500 (INDEXSP: .INX) index added 30.64 points, or 0.7%, to 4,247.68, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ: .IXIC) index rose 121.55 points, or 0.9%, to 13,139.88.

Companies surprising on the upside in quarterly results included Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO), Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT), General Electric Co (NYSE: GE) and Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT), but that is not a uniform trend, with Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) slightly disappointing on the cloud business, despite a better-than-expected overall result.

Roughly 23% of S&P 500 companies have already reported earnings, and 77% of them have posted earnings surpassing analysts’ expectations, according to FactSet.

On the bond market, the US 10-year yield eased 2.3 basis points to 4.826%, while the 2-year yield edged higher to 5.119%.

Gold lost US$3.37, or 0.2%, to US$1,970.37, while the global benchmark Brent crude oil grade slid US$1.76, or 2%, to US$88.07 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate oil gained 5 cents to US$83.79 a barrel.

The Australian dollar is buying 63.55 US cents this morning, up from 63.45 cents at the ASX close on Tuesday.

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