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Australian share market up ahead of US CPI

The Australian share market rose on Tuesday, as interest-rate sensitive stocks climbed ahead of the release of US inflation figures.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) index added 36.3 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 7,235.3 points at the close, powered by the information technology and consumer staples sectors. The broader All Ordinaries (INDEXASX: XAO) rose 36.2 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 7,446.4, with ten of the 11 sectors moving higher.

Technology stocks were the best performers, with the sub-index posting a 2.1 per cent gain, led by WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC), which lifted $2.00, or 3 per cent, to $70.00, and Xero Limited (ASX: XRO), which closed up $3.96, or 3.8 per cent to $108.33.

WiseTech share price

Among the big miners, Fortescue Ltd (ASX: FMG) appreciated 42 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $26.36; and BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) managed a 2-cent gain, to $47.56; but Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO) slipped 37 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to $128.53

Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) gained 8 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to $30.34, and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) eked out a 2-cent rise to $7.31; Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) fell 4 cents, or 2.6 per cent, to $1.505; and Brazilian-based producer Karoon Energy Ltd (ASX: KAR) dropped 3.5 cents, or 1.8 per cent, to $1.885.

Some gold miners caught a bid, with Silver Lake Resources Ltd (ASX: SLR) pushing 4 cents, or 3.6 per cent, higher to $1.145; Regis Resources Ltd (ASX: RRL) advancing 5 cents, or 2.6 per cent, to $1.945; Ramelius Resources Ltd (ASX: RMS) up 2.5 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $1.59; Bellevue Gold Ltd (ASX: BGL) gaining 1.5 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $1.69; Perseus Mining Ltd (ASX: PRU) rising 1.5 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $1.845; Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) adding 1 cent to $3.61; and Newmont Corporation CDI (ASX: NEM) closing up 8 cents, to $59.08

Canadian-based iron ore miner Champion Iron Ltd (ASX: CIA) rose 5 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $7.78; mineral sands producer Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) was up 3 cents, or 0.4 per cent, to $6.83; copper heavyweight Sandfire Resources Ltd (ASX: SFR) eased 7 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $6.40; and rare earths producer Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC) slid 29 cents, or 4.6 per cent, to $6.03.

In coal, Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) strengthened 13 cents, or 1.8 per cent, to $7.35; New Hope Corporation Ltd (ASX: NHC) added 1 cent to $5.08; and Stanmore Resources Ltd (ASX: SMR) firmed 5 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $3.82; but Coronado Global Resources Inc (ASX: CRN) was down 2 cents, or 1.2 per cent, to $1.705.

Whitehaven share price

Retailers get wind in their sails

On the industrial side, there was plenty of interest in the retailers, with Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) up 1.5 cents, or 2.6 per cent, to 58.5 cents; Adairs Ltd (ASX: ADH) putting on 5.5 cents, or 3.3 per cent, to $1.745; Temple & Webster Group Ltd (ASX: TPW) lifting 35 cents, or 4.2 per cent, to $8.74; and Accent Group Ltd (ASX: AX1) up 2.5 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $1.895;

But Baby Bunting Group Ltd (ASX: BBN) went against the trend, down 8.5 cents, or 4.7 per cent, to $1.735; and so did Beacon Lighting Group Ltd (ASX: BLX), which retreated 16 cents, or 6.7 per cent, to $2.22. JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) gained 27 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to an 18-month high of $49.62, while Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) added 66 cents, or 1.8 per cent, to $36.71. Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) was up 15 cents, or 1 per cent, to $15.89; Endeavour Group Ltd (ASX: EDV) added 8 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $5.03; and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) managed a 3-cent gain, to $54.33.

Biotech heavyweight CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) firmed $1.75, or 0.7 per cent, to $269.50. Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS) appreciated 2 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $3.85.

Nearly all the major banks recorded gains, led by ANZ Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: ANZ), which rose 19 cents, or 0.8 per cent to $24.80; Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), which gained 47 cents, or 0.4 per cent, to $107.41; and National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB), which firmed 22 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $29.52. But Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) lagged, closing unchanged at $21.94. Global investment bank and wealth manager Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG), rose 69 cents, or 0.4 per cent, to $169.80.

ANZ share price

Signs that Fed is winning inflation battle help markets

In the US, stocks notched a fourth straight rising session as Wall Street sifted through another round of inflation data in search for clues on when the Federal Reserve might start easing monetary policy. The US inflation report for November showed the annual rate coming in at 3.1 per cent, down from 3.2 per cent a year in October, a decline that was expected.

Stripping out the more volatile components of food and energy, the core index was stable at a 4 per cent year-over-year growth rate, holding at its lowest level since September 2021.

The markets viewed this as another piece of evidence that the Federal Reserve is very slowly winning the battle over high inflation.

The broad S&P 500 (INDEXSP: .INX) index gained 21.26 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,643.70, while the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX: .DJI) lifted 173.01 points, also 0.5 per cent, to 36,577.94, and the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ: .IXIC) Index pushed 100.91 points, or 0.7 per cent higher, to 14,533.40.

On the bond market, the US 10-year yield eased 3.3 basis points, to 4.204 per cent, while the 2-year yield advanced 2.9 basis points, to a still-inverted 4.735 per cent.

Gold is down US$3.74, or 0.2 per cent, to US$1,979.54. The global benchmark Brent crude oil grade dropped US$2.65, or 3.5 per cent, to US$73.38 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate oil shed US$2.71, or 3.8 per cent, to US$68.61 a barrel. Oil traders are worried about a looming glut, which OPEC+ is not doing enough to reduce.

The Australian dollar is buying 65.57 US cents this morning, down from 65.94 US cents at the ASX close on Tuesday.

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