The ASX had a soft open this morning despite Wall Street climbing for a third-straight session.
Overnight markets were buoyed by news that initial lab studies from Pfizer and BioNTech show a third dose of their vaccines can neutralise the omicron variant.
Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX: VUL) is pushing off the starting blocks this morning, up 11%. The emerging lithium hopeful signed a binding offtake agreement with German automaker, Volkswagen Group.
The deal will run for five years from 2026, with Volkswagen set to purchase a total minimum of 34,000 tonnes and a maximum of 42,000 tonnes of battery grade lithium hydroxide.
Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN) is up 3% after a 25% correction in the past three weeks. As part of the S&P Dow Jones Indices rebalance, Paladin Energy rejoined the ASX 200, effective prior to the open on 20 December 2021.
IGO (ASX: IGO) briefly opened 4.8% higher, marking a fresh all-time high for the green metals miner. Copper prices have been trading mostly sideways since February, holding steady around US$4.4/lb.
While lithium prices have continued to trend higher with spodumene prices adding another 17.3% in November to US$1,525/t free-on-board, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
There is broad-based selling taking place across retail stocks. Large cap names like Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX: DMP), JB Hi-Fi (ASX: JBH), Harvey Norman (ASX: HVN), Lovisa (ASX: LOV) and City Chic Collective (ASX: CCX) are all down between 1.5% and 4%.
Xero (ASX: XRO) shares are down 2.4%, weighing on the ASX technology sector. Xero has struggled to find upside this year as general concerns about rising interest rates have weighed on tech stocks.
Brokers are divided on what’s next for Xero but a consensus target price of $134.2 suggests a downside of 5.6% compared to today’s prices.
Seven West Media (ASX: SWM) is down 4% despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announcing that it does not oppose the sale of Prime Media Group’s (PRT) business to Seven.
Finance Writer & Social Media
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