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S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) starts the week in the green

The Australian market got off to a positive start for the new week, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) index share price adding 51.5 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 7124.7, with nine of the 11 sectors finishing in the green.

The broader All Ordinaries (INDEXASX: XAO) index share price also rose 0.7 per cent, in its case 51 points, to 7,336.1. Investors are focused on the Reserve Bank’s interest rate decision on Tuesday, when the central bank is widely expected to finish the year with the cash rate on hold.

The materials sector advanced 1.5 per cent, with higher iron ore prices seeing ASX heavyweight BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) firm 80 cents, or 1.7 per cent, to $47.14; Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO) share price increase $2.01, or 1.6 per cent, to $126.92; and Fortescue Ltd (ASX: FMG) share price gain 9 cents, or 0.4 per cent, to $25.29.

BHP share price

Elsewhere in materials, gold prices surged more than 3 per cent in early trading to a fresh record before paring much of those gains. Gold miners carried on the momentum, with Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) share price adding 46 cents, or 3.7 per cent to $12.90, and Newmont Corporation CDI (ASX: NEM) share price up $1.76, or 2.9 per cent, to $62.54.

Also in the sector, Genesis Minerals Ltd (ASX: GMD) share price sparked 11.5 cents, or 6.5 per cent, to $1.89; Bellevue Gold Ltd (ASX: BGL) share price surged 9.5 cents, or 5.5 per cent, to $1.815; Perseus Mining Ltd (ASX: PRU) share price jumped 9 cents, or 4.6 per cent, to $2.03; Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR) share price put on 5.5 cents, or 2.9 per cent, to $1.975; and Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) share price was up 10 cents, or 2.5 per cent, to $4.14.

The tech sector was the best performer on the S&P/ASX 200, gaining 1.9 per cent on the sub-index. Highlights included WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) share price adding $1.27, or 1.9 per cent to $67.43; Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) share price rising $1.67, or 1.7 per cent, to $102.80; and Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT) share price gaining 41 cents, or 3.2 per cent, to $13.42.

Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) share price sank 32 cents, or 3.9 per cent to $7.86, after shareholders voted down a $20 billion takeover bid by a Brookfield-led private equity consortium. About 69 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the proposal, short of the 75 per cent threshold required for the $9.39 per share deal to go ahead.

Origin Energy share price

All the major banks recorded gains with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price up 93 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $105.12; Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price rose 12 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $21.39; National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) share price was up 22 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $28.65; and ANZ Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: ANZ) share price firmed 2 cents to $24.45.

Biotech heavyweight CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) gained $1.31, or 0.5 per cent, to $264.17.

CSL share price

Energy stocks finished in the red on the back of weaker crude oil prices. Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) share price shed 49 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $30.35; Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) share price slipped 8 cents, or 1.2 per cent, to $6.82; and Brazilian-based producer Karoon Energy Ltd (ASX: KAR) share price retreated 5 cents, or 2.4 per cent, to $2.00.

Mixed messages from miners

Elsewhere in resources, aluminium and alumina producer Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC) share price advanced 3.5 cents, or 4.9 per cent, to 74.5 cents; mineral sands producer Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) share price lifted 21 cents, or 3.1 per cent, to $7.04; and copper heavyweight Sandfire Resources Ltd (ASX: SFR) share price gained 16 cents, or 2.6 per cent, to $6.36.

In coal, Stanmore Resources Ltd (ASX: SMR) share price plunged 33 cents, or 8.1 per cent, to $3.75, after its largest shareholder, Indonesian company Sinar Mas Group, sold a 5 per cent stake in Stanmore on Friday after the close of trading, in a $167 million block trade. Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price was down 6 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $7.20; New Hope Corporation Ltd (ASX: NHC) share price lost 11 cents, or 2.1 per cent, to $5.10; but Coronado Global Resources Inc (ASX: CRN) share price strengthened 3.5 cents, or 2.1 per cent, to $1.70.

Stanmore Resources share price

In lithium, producer Allkem Ltd (ASX: AKE) share price added 16 cents, or 1.9 per cent, to $8.64, fellow producer Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price slid 8 cents, or 2.2 per cent, to $3.53; while project developer Piedmont Lithium Inc (ASX: PLL) share price was up 1.5 cents, or 3.9 per cent, to 40 cents. IGO Ltd (ASX: IGO), which produces nickel and lithium, share price was down 31 cents, or 3.7 per cent, to $8.03; and Mineral Resources Ltd (ASX: MIN), which mines iron ore as well as lithium, share price eased 68 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $59.92.

Gold breaks through record price – briefly

In the US, the market gauges all lost ground, as investors second-guessed the market following five straight winning weeks.

The 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX: .DJI) share price eased 41.06 points, or 0.1 per cent, to close at 36,204.44. The broader S&P 500 (INDEXSP: .INX) share price lost 24.85 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,569.78, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ: .IXIC) index share price shed 119.54 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 14,185.49.

On the bond market, the US 10-year yield gained 5 basis points, to 4.25 per cent, and the 2-year note yield advanced 7.8 basis points, to 4.625 per cent.

Gold surged to a record high above US$2,100 an ounce, before losing ground to close at US$2,029 an ounce, down US$89.70, or 4.2 per cent. Bitcoin passed the US$41,000 level to reach a 19-month high. The global benchmark Brent crude oil price retreated 62 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to US$78.26 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate oil lost 74 cents, or 1 per cent, to US$73.33 a barrel.

The Australian dollar is buying 66.18 US cents this morning, down from 66.56 US cents at Monday’s ASX close.

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