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January 31, 2023 15 min

 ASX 200 slipped 5 points to 7464 (0.1%) as an early rally reversed. The index does not tell the whole story though with huge volatility in some sectors. Some caution crept in ahead of the Fed and US results and end of month book squaring taking the wind out of the lithium sector and golds. Resources were smashed although BHP, RIO and FMG holding up but S32, IGO and PLS gave up the uneven struggle and threw in the towel short term, Quarterlies dropping all over the place. Gold miners failed to impress as NCM fell 1.2%, NST off 1.7% and EVN falling 2.4%. Rare earths too in the headlights, LYC down 3.3%, MIN off 3.9% and CXO falling 5.7% in lithium. Nasty end to the month from the resource sector. Oil and gas mixed, coal eased, NHC off 0.3%. Banks were flat with the Big Bank Basket unchanged yet again at $190.69. Insurers mixed and money managers eased, GQG off 4.4%. REITs slipped after some good sessions, GMG off 0.8% and CHC down 2.3%. Tech stumbled lower, CPU off 0.6% and XRO down 1.1%. The index dropped 1.0%. Healthcare recovered as defensives generally improved, CSL up 1.7% and RMD up 2.4% after a big drop yesterday. WOW flying on retail numbers up 3.8% and COL up 2.4%.
In corporate news, it was all about quarterlies, MP1 were smashed 24.7% on a disappointing result, PBH in similar fashion as it extended its deal with NBC, down 17.4%. SYA dropped 11.9% on a successful ore crushing trial, PWH rallied hard up 5.0% on a UK acquisition and NXD starting to look interesting on an update, up 5.8%. FLT in a halt on a capital raise and UK acquistion.
On the economic front, the December retail numbers missed by a country mile and showed that the Black Friday sales pulled spending out of Xmas. We got slightly better Chinese PMI numbers today. In Asia, Japan eased 0.2%, HK fell 1.2% and China off 0.8% after a huge run. 10-year yields at 3.52%. No great shakes post retail sales numbers.

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